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Anaesthetists improve skills thanks to life-size robotic patient

Anaesthetic staff at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) is now able to improve their skills thanks to a life-size robotic patient.

Staff at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Anaesthetic Academic Unit can now simulate procedures and practice on the robot funded thanks to a grant from the Denise Coates Foundation to UHNM Charity.

The SimMan 3G, dubbed “Idris” by staff, is a life-sized model that talks, breathes and reacts to medicines in the same way as a real human.

Dr Lloyd Craker, UHNM Consultant Anaesthetist, said: “SimMan 3G is able to display a wide range of physiological and neurological symptoms as well as pharmacological responses to almost 150 different drugs. It enables us to provide simulation training on specialities including point of care ultrasound, advanced ventilation management and patient monitoring.”

“The current pandemic has highlighted that anaesthetists and those working in critical care are at the forefront when dealing with high-risk patients and training in respiratory care can help our healthcare providers develop clinical knowledge, competence and confidence on how to manage severe cases of patients such as those suffering from Covid-19.”

As well as being able to talk through microphones, SimMan has eyes that open and close with responsive pupils and is able to cry, sweat and pass water. It has realistic cardiac and abdominal sounds, and can also simulate bleeding and convulsions.

Funding as also enabled UHNM to purchase a range of respiratory and ultrasound training equipment.

Dr Craker added: “The response to the pandemic means different ways of working to protect the safety of our patients in these high-risk environments and this training equipment is essential for that. Much of our previous training equipment was old, outdated and very much overused. This new equipment provides our staff with experience, competence and confidence.”


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