Life-Like Manikins Training U.S. Medics and Soldiers
Patient simulators are training troops how to save lives on the battlefield…
When it comes to trying things out, manikins are man’s best friend, they try our clothes on for us, they crash test cars and other forms of transport, they help train us in basic first aid, and now they are even helping soldier’s fine tune their medical skills to help save lives on the battlefield.
Aware of the training abilities of our life-sized plastic counter-parts, the United States military has been using specialized medical manikins, or patient simulators, at numerous training centers for some time now.
Laerdals Patient Simulator
Originally employed to train U.S Army medics, the manikins have been so successful that the training soon migrated to everyday troops and is now being used at 23 different training centers nationwide.
The battery-operated patient simulators, which include versions such as Laerdal’s SimMan, are packed full of the latest technology and can breathe, bleed, blink, cry, cough and scream. They are also remote-controlled which allows supervisors to quickly change the medical status of the manikins to recreate life and death situations.
Simulated scenarios with explosions and shattering debris are staged to help immerse the trainees in life-like battlefield situations. In some exercises an actor, whose limbs are concealed and replaced with the limbs of a manikin, screams at the medics as they try to stop the severe bleeding – if the soldiers can’t close the wound, the manikin dies.
The efficiency of the training program means that intensive and life-saving medical training is now being made available to a larger number of soldiers, and not just medics. The advantages of such a program go without saying. Lt. Col. Wilson Ariza, manager of the U.S. Army Medical Simulation Project, told CNN that a pentagon study showed that the training program had saved the lives of 1,000 soldiers injured in combat. [CNN]
- Tim Hornyak: Military mannequins bleed just like humans. Cnet, 12/16/2010.
- John Couwels: High-tech war games help save lives. CNN, 12/13/2010.
- Image Source: Laderal.
- Video Source: SimMan Essential – Military. LaerdalMedical via Youtube, 12/07/2010.