Watch: Gardaí Simulate Terror Attack at Dublin’s Docklands

Watch: Gardaí test response to terror attack in simulation at Dublin's Docklands

The Irish-based Gardai engaged with a counter-terrorism exercise in Dublin recently to test their response in the event of a mass casualty terrorist attack. The simulation, codenamed ’Sciath’, involved a number of actors at the Docklands railway station in Dublin’s north inner city and the garda units involved today had not been told ahead of time what would be involved.

Does your simulation program work with local Civil Service Groups to provide simulated training opportunities? The promotional opportunities to develop new business opportunities and showcase your simulation program are clearly evident!


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As part of the simulation, the men inside acted out assaulting a number of people inside the station. Armed officers used stun grenades and blank rounds, shooting one of the suspects and securing the scene. “Today has demonstrated the professionalism and the capability that we have,” Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan told reporters after the training exercise was finished. “Incidents like this can happen. We have to make sure that we are ready to respond to those incidents. In the last few days we have given instructions to all of our members and I think we wanted to see how those instructions would work,” she said.

The Commissioner said simulations such as today’s operation are prioritised in high density areas like Dublin city, but she said further exercises will take place in other parts of the country to test response times outside the capital.


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Mixed and Augmented Reality Can Facilitate Seamless Medical Communication

ar-healthcare-simulation

MedicalResearch.com recently interviewed Birmingham City University Associate Professor Dr. Ian Williams PhD about the work of the DMT lab on mixed and augmented reality for healthcare simulated training. Make no mistake, VR and AR are the future of healthcare simulated training:

Dr. Williams: Our work at the DMT Lab (dmtlab.bcu.ac.uk) focuses on developing a novel Mixed Reality (MR) medical presentation platform which allows practitioners to interact with patient data and virtual anatomical models in real time. The system enables the presentation of medical data, models and procedures to patients with the aim of educating them on pending procedures or the effects of lifestyle choices (for example the effects of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption).

The system employs an exocentric mixed reality environment which can be deployed in any room. It integrates a medical practitioner in real time with multimodal patient data and the corresponding result is a real time co-located visualisation of both the practitioner and the data, which they can interact with in real time.  We implement a natural interaction method into the system which improves a user’s level of direct interaction with the virtual models and provides a more realistic control of the data.

The system can also be used in a fun educational setting where patients, students, children or any naive user, can learn about medical anatomical information via a real-time interactive mixed reality “body scanner”. This fun system overlays the MR information onto their own body in real-time and shows them scaled and interactive virtual organs, anatomy and corresponding medical information. We are aiming for this system to be used not only in patient education but also in engaging and informing people on lifestyle choices.

MedicalResearch.com: What types of medical or surgical problems do you envision can be enhanced with the use of free hand gestures to manipulate patient data?

Dr. Williams: Mixed reality has enormous potential within the medical field, with healthcare being profoundly affected by some recent developments. Mixed reality technology can also provide the platform for facilitating a seamless doctor-patient communications in real time. The system we are developing can provide a real time augmented view of the patient’s data which can be overlaid onto the patient, or interacted with via freehand interaction without the use of complex wearable devices.

Many current mixed reality systems rely on bespoke sensors and cumbersome wearable devices (for example haptic gloves) whereas we work in freehand interaction without the need for a medical practitioner or patient to wear any complex wearable device. This interaction method enables a more natural virtual interface and via the use of naturally inspired physical interaction models (for example common real grasping types) we bridge the gap between users and technology. This form of natural interaction can also enable an interaction which can be perceived as more realistic to the observer.

Medical Group Readies Complaint Over Use of Live Pigs for Training Instead of Simulators

live animal training instead of simulators for healthcare

Last week the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine announced they will file a federal complaint against the University of Missouri School of Medicine, questioning the legality of the school’s use of live animals for emergency medicine residency training — as reported by the Columbia Tribune.

Consider that if enough healthcare groups complained about the abuse of animals for medical training, that simulators would grow in adoption and utilization, as this article clearly points out! Does your healthcare program have an animal rights group? Perhaps as a simulation center representative you should connect with them to explore collaborative options of mutually beneficial support!

In the complaint, which the committee emailed to the Tribune on Friday, the national not-for-profit organization of 12,000 physicians asserts that the training program does not meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966. Emergency residents practice several medical procedures on live pigs, and “this animal use is at odds with the current standards of practice in emergency medicine training,” the committee said in the complaint.

The committee conducted a survey of 168 emergency medicine programs nationwide and found that 150 of them, or 89 percent, did not use animals to train residents. Four of those 150 programs are in Missouri, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which is part of the UM System along with the Columbia campus. In the complaint, the committee said these 150 programs use only human-based simulation to practice the procedures that MU’s residents practice on pigs. 

Because the MU School of Medicine uses live animals despite the existence of alternative methods and has not provided “objective evidence to support” doing so, the school is breaking the law, the organization said in the complaint. However, Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew Bailey said in an email that nationwide, doctors do not have a general consensus that simulation can replace the use of animals in physician training.

“While simulators have become increasingly advanced in recent years, and make good adjuncts to training, many doctors do not agree that they provide an adequate level of training before operating on live people,” Bailey said. “They simply aren’t a full replacement in every case, yet.”

Human-based simulators “are not yet capable of replicating the human condition” in the case of some injuries, Bailey said. He gave the example of traumatic injuries that members of the military might suffer in combat. The Association of American Medical Colleges on its website says that the role of live animals in research is “irreplaceable” and that animals are “vital in the medical education continuum.”

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine attributes its information about MU’s emergency medicine training program from a protocol document the committee obtained. According to the document, trainees cut into and open the throats and chests of the live pigs in order to insert needles and tubes and repair an injury to the pericardium, a sac surrounding the heart. The trainees continue the procedures even if the pig dies in the process, but if it survives, they kill it before they perform the final procedure.

The committee will send the complaint to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Animal Care Unit, which is the division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act. The complaint asks APHIS to investigate MU’s medical school and enforce penalties for what the committee sees as breaches of federal law.


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BuzzFeed Informs Public: Virtual Reality Is Medical Simulation Training’s Next Frontier

Virtual Reality Is Medical Training's Next Frontier

BuzzFeed recently reported on the new advances in VR technologies currently being utilized for medical training, a sign that our advanced methodologies are contiuning to interest mainstream media!

“There’s a baby boy on a stretcher in a children’s hospital emergency room. His mother is standing nearby, begging the doctors to do something, as her baby lies there. He is drooling and shaking; his diaper is soaked; he is making a disturbing snoring noise. An EMT comes in and says, “Doctor, this is a one-year-old male found by the mother at home, having a seizure. The seizure’s been lasting about seven minutes. Blood glucose on scene was 90.” The EMT leaves.

 

According to Dr. Joshua Sherman of CHLA and the USC Keck School of Medicine, VR helps solve several problems for medical training programs: expense, accessibility, and verisimilitude. (Sherman also helped develop the training.) Hands-on training for medical students and residents is time-consuming and expensive — mannequins run upwards of $50,000, plus maintenance and tech support — and also requires a room full of actual people to play the doctors and nurses. The other type of training currently used is screen-based training, but that doesn’t closely mimic a real-life situation. VR manages to replicate the atmosphere of an emergency room situation while also being accessible — a trainee can easily do it on his or her own time. Besides the simulated nature of the experience, the main drawbacks right now are lack of voice control and inability to have more than one person in the experience at the same time. There’s also currently only two training modules, so the applications are limited.

Sherman’s first VR experience was the Oculus Dreamdeck — which puts users at the top of a very tall building. Sherman, who is afraid of heights, felt his heart rate go up and his palms get sweaty. “I knew it was not real but I couldn’t get myself to jump,” he said. “When I felt that physiologic response and how similar it was to the real world, I immediately thought, why can’t we use this to simulate the response on resuscitations? We can train people who we can’t train in real life, up to an extent, so then when they face it in real life, it still will be very stressful but they will be able to select the correct items and protocols under pressure.”

I’m not a doctor, nor am I training to be one, but when I tried the simulation (or as it’s officially called, the “VR Pediatric Resuscitation Module 1: Status Epilepticus”), I found myself getting anxious about choosing the right protocol for this fake baby. Though I was guided through it by Clay Park VR founder and former Oculus developer relations specialist Shauna Heller, who produced the project, it was still nerve-racking to be inside this emergency room, responsible for saving the life of an infant.

Sherman said that’s entirely the point. “We compared the physiology of stress in real-life emergency situations to that of people going through VR — their heart rate, breathing rate, and salivary cortisol, which is a stress hormone. The preliminary data shows that the heart rates definitely correlate between the real world and VR world.”

‘The Little Couple’ Star Dr. Jen Arnold Accepts New Position as Medical Director of FL Sim Center

‘The Little Couple' star Jen Arnold making a career move from TX back to her hometown in FL

Fox23 recently reported about Healthcare Simulation’s most famous celebrity, Dr. Jen Arnold, who is moving back to Florida to help direct the John Hopkins All Chidren’s Hospital Sim Center! Dr. Arnold’s powerful story has helped to share healthcare simulation with the world, probably more than any other media persona!

Dr. Jen Arnold and Bill Klein of ‘The Little Couple’ appeared on ‘Good Morning America’ in 2014. After nine years in Houston, the couple is moving back to the St. Petersburg, Florida area, where Arnold grew up. Fred Lee/Getty Images Dr. Jen Arnold of “ The Little Couple ” fame is moving back home to Florida with her husband, Bill Klein, and two children. The reality TV star accepted a position at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg as medical director of the hospital’s expanding Simulation Center.

Coincidentally, Dr. Arnold was cared for as an infant at the very same hospital and married Klein at St. Petersburg’s St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Church, which is located very close to her new hospital. The family, along with their two children, Will, 6, and Zoey, 5, have already made the move from Houston to Florida.

Arnold shared a family photo on Instagram, showing her with her kids over the weekend, writing, “I don’t want summer to end! This has been a summer of wonderful Florida memories!” Arnold previously worked for nine years as the medical director of simulation at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, but was excited about the new opportunity. “I’m thrilled to return home to Florida,” she said in a statement that the hospital released. “The opportunity at Johns Hopkins All Children’s is a perfect fit personally for me, my husband and two kids and professionally with the growing education and research resources at the hospital.”


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3D Systems Announces the Release Latest 3D Virtual Reality Training Module: Simbionix SPINE Mentor

3d systems spine mentor

3DPrint.com just shared about a new Spine training simulator from 3D Systems:

Three years ago, 3D Systems joined the world of virtual reality when it acquired Simbionix, a 3D VR surgical simulation and training company, and it only took a couple of months after the acquisition for 3D Systems to announce a new Simbionix simulation module.

Over the past two years, the company has continued to add new VR simulation modules, like the Simbionix ARTHRO Mentor arthroscopic training simulator , and 3D Systems formed a partnership with CHEST last year to develop a standardized bronchoscopy curriculum with its Simbionix BRONCH Mentor. 3D Systems is committed to delivering top quality innovations in the medical field, from solid-organ scaffolds to 3D printed medical models , and today, it announced a new addition to its comprehensive line of medical simulators, with the release of the Simbionix SPINE Mentor . The hands-on simulated training and practice tool is designed for anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, pain management surgeons, and orthopedic surgeons to train for minimally invasive spine surgeries and procedures.

SPINE Mentor Includes:

  • 3D printed spine, which can be used for accurate palpation
  • Computer and monitor
  • Foot pedal and virtual C-arm, with controllers, which can be manipulated during practice procedures
  • Percutaneous leads
  • Two needles, one syringe, and a loss of resistance sensor upon entering epidural space
  • Realistic puncture pad

Simbionix SPINE Mentor combines a 3D printed spine, medical instruments, and virtually simulated images to create a hybrid platform that will add spinal surgery training to the company’s portfolio. It is far more accurate and realistic than training with cadavers, and was designed to practice with multiple spinal procedures, like the placement of wires and catheters and lumbar puncture; it also helps surgeons boost their confidence before a difficult procedure or surgery.

University of Nebraska Medical Center Gains New ‘Simulation in Motion’ Truck

Norfolk to be home of new ‘Simulation in Motion’ truck

Norfolk Daily News recently shared a news story highlighting how the University of Nebraska Medical Center unveiled four “Simulation in Motion” trucks at a special ceremony last Wednesday in Omaha. Looking for resources on how to build your own mobile simulation truck? Check out the numerous recorded courses on SimGHOSTS.org!

The 44-foot long, dual-axle customized trucks soon will be deployed and stationed in Norfolk, Lincoln, Kearney and Scottsbluff. The UNMC College of Nursing has divisions in those cities. The customized trucks, funded by a $5.5 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, feature a mobile simulation, real-life training experience designed to increase life-saving training opportunities through high-tech simulation. The training is free and targeted to rural emergency medical service agencies and rural critical access hospitals.

“We are excited to partner with UNMC to bring state-of-the-art simulation training to rural communities,” said Walter Panzirer, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust. Gail Suhr, an emergency medical technician with Bloomfield Ambulance Service, is excited about the prospects of the training. “After 34 years in the emergency medical services, this is one of the best things to happen, and I hope everyone takes advantage of it. There’s so much we can learn through these trucks,” Suhr said.

The trucks feature dual slide-out room extensions, a simulated emergency room and an ambulance, as well as computerized mannequins that talk, breathe, have heartbeats, and can react to medications and other actions of the learners. They can die and be revived over and over again. Each mobile unit is outfitted with supplies to recreate a realistic environment for learners that includes: pre-programmed computerized medical and trauma scenarios; monitors that display vital signs of patient simulators; and audio and video recording/playback capabilities.


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Canadian-Based QEII Foundation Raises 1.8 Million for New Simulation Program

High-stakes education: Simulation training at QEII

Wouldn’t 1.8M be great for your simluation program? Learn how the Charles V. Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre at the QEII Health Sciences Centre was able to secure this funding to help improve the training of their healthcare professionals with this recent article from The Chronicle Herald Times:

Designed to provide a realistic medical teaching environment, the Sim Bay is heading toward a transformation that will turn the makeshift space into a state-of-the-art high fidelity simulation facility — as close to real life as possible. Once complete, it will play a key role in training various disciplines resulting in improved patient health outcomes.

The QEII Foundation raised $1.8-million to support this transformation as part of a simulation-based learning campaign.

“When the space is renovated, the sky is the limit for us. We’ve done great things with what we have and I know we can be so much better,” says Donna Warren, Simulation Coordinator, QEII Simulation Program. “If you’ve ever had a loved one who’s been in hospital, and whose care has been exemplary, behind that is hours and hours of simulation and getting it right.”

Dr. Nick Sowers, medical director of the Sim Bay, works closely with various groups of learners at the QEII to direct simulations and offer medical oversight. He says the traditional medical philosophy of ‘see one, do one, teach one’ is quickly going by the wayside as simulation training proves its worth. Just one scenario provides crucial real-life training, and simulation training reduces the need for, and the risk of, experiential learning.

“By the time you’re a senior resident, the diagnosis and treatment is often not the hard part,” Dr. Sowers says. “One of the hardest parts is the ability to manage the room, to control yourself and stay calm; communicating effectively as a team during a crisis no matter how chaotic it is.” Taking charge and leading a team of staff in an emergency can take years for most physicians to perfect, but now, thanks to spaces like the current Sim Bay, self-admitted quiet people like fourth-year resident Dr. Samantha Jang-Stewart can find their voice before graduation.

“My first year doing simulation was terrifying because you’re a little unsure and still learning the medical side of things and then you’re supposed to be directing a team of people,” Dr. Jang-Stewart says. “It’s really nerve-wracking but with practice in sim, you get used to doing it and become more comfortable and confident.”This new-found confidence helped Dr. Jang-Stewart lead a team of residents to a first place finish at the Trauma Nova Scotia Simulation Olympics.

Canadian-Based Western University Launches New Healthcare Simulation Suite

Western's new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience

Canadian-based Western University Gazette recently shared about the new Western’s Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing program simulation suite! Looking to get similar attention to your healthcare simulation program? Read our comprehensive Media guide!

The new simulation suite in the recently opened FIMS and Nursing building and has been in the works for years. The faculty’s first simulation suite opened in 2005, according to Barbara Sinclair, coordinator for simulated clinical education at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. “You can’t just send students in after giving them a little bit of theory and a little bit of lab practice and expect that they’re going to be able to provide care for people,” Sinclair said. “Things are just far too complex.”

The new simulation suite is much larger than its predecessor with 16 hospital beds. Sinclair said students learn a variety skills from the simulation set up that go beyond the teachings of a textbook as they work on communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

Nursing student Sachia Grogran recalled hearing patients scream “I can’t breathe, I’m going to die,” during the simulations. “It teaches you how to handle real life situations in a safe environment,” Grogan said. The robotic patients within the simulation hospital have a variety of illnesses and backstories that make each of them unique. “They get to understand the trajectory of chronic illness,” Sinclair said. “We looked at what the common things were that we were seeing — things like diabetes, stroke and lung disease; we wanted to get a good cross section of things students would see.”

In addition to the robotic patients, 50 per cent of the time students in the lab work with standardized patients who are played by actors. The actors have prepared stories, case histories and personality types which Sinclair said adds a different level of realism.

Read the full article: Western’s new robots offer nursing students life-like medical experience

Regional EMS Cadet Competition Utilizes Simulation For Recognition of Leading Students

South Orange Rescue Squad Cadets Bring Home Gold

Shouldnt all EMS programs utilize simulation for demonstration and training to new recruits on the lessons of first responding? Village Green NJ recently reported how last Saturday the South Orange Rescue Squad won the 5th Annual Bayshore EMS Cadet Competition in Keyport, New Jersey at the Keyport First Aid Squad. What a great way to utilize simulations to encourage healthcare professionals of tomorrow!

This event brought Emergency Medical Services cadet teams from New York and New Jersey together for a two day event that combines EMS skill competitions, educational experiences, training, and socializing with like-minded peers. Many volunteer ambulance squads across the state have cadet programs where teenagers train alongside adult members to provide emergency medical care to their community. Explained South Orange Rescue Squad President Troy Balog, “these cadet groups are valuable feeder programs to help critical volunteer shortages in squads.”

He added, “we’ve had our cadet program for three years and many former cadets are now active adult members, including our current 1st Lieutenant! We are all volunteer, do not charge for our services and exist on donations, so people who give so much of their time are highly valued.” Competing against 35 other cadet teams, the South Orange Rescue Squad team won both first place in the “Advanced Team” category as well as the “Grand Champion” award for highest all around score. This is the first time the South Orange squad has entered the competition. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.” said team member EMT Cole Fitzsimmons, “we train a lot at South Orange so I felt that we were ready for it.”

Cadet teams could enter the “Basic” level competition or the “Advanced” level. Basic teams consisted of CPR or first aid trained cadets and were evaluated in stations consisting of Vital Sign, CPR, and bleeding control. The “Advanced” teams had to have at least two Emergency Medical Technicians and their three stations consisted of a simulated fall down to flights of stairs with two broken legs, a Heart Attack/Cardiac Arrest simulation, and a serious car accident where two critical patients were entrapped in the vehicle. “For the car accident station we had to work with the fire department to use the Jaws of Life to remove doors from the vehicle,” shared EMT team member Victor Rothstein. The victims in each of the scenarios were either role played by a volunteer with medical make-up or a high-tech simulator mannequin. Cadets were evaluated in each station by Paramedics, EMT Instructors, or Physicians who provided detailed feedback to the teens after each test.