Local health care professionals were treated to some state-of-the-art simulation last week when the STARS Air Ambulance Mobile Education Program stopped in Golden.
This mobile program, which is the first of its kind in North America, features a human patient simulator that replicates complex medical and traumatic problems.
“Mostly we tend to lean towards hospitals and their doctors and nurses. And we just run through cases,” said the educator Dave Allison, who is also a flight paramedic with STARS. “We pick about half a dozen of the sickest patients they will see in their career, and we use the mannequin, kill it if we have to. And we talk about the case afterwards.”
The mannequins have been installed in two motorhomes, creating large mobile emergency rooms. The cutting edge technology emulates human beings going through traumas. It speaks and breathes, blinks and has reactive pupils, has a heartbeat and a pulse, and accurately mirrors human responses to such procedures as CPR, intravenous medication, and catheterization.
“Other than being able to get up and walk away, it can do just about anything a human can,” said Allison. Doctors, nurses and paramedics from Golden got to run through trauma situations in the motorhome as it was parked in front of the Golden Hospital.
“It breathes in oxygen, breathes out carbon dioxide,” he said. “If a crew decides to give him medication, he will respond to that medication just like a human would.”
The education is also available for all those who find themselves in first responder situations including EMS, Ski Patrol and Fire Departments.
“For Golden our main goal this time around was to hit the hospital and a bit of the EMS as well,” said Allison, adding that they try to hit many communities at least once a year, so groups wanting to receive the education will have another chance.
STARS is funded through various means, including government support as well as corporate and individual donations. It is therefore able to offer this program, free to its participants.
“It’s really important for us to come out and provide the education for free,” said Allison.
For more information about STARS and its programs, go to www.stars.ca.