Henry hospital group wants robotic patient
Henry Medical Center Foundation raising $75,000 for SimMan

By Johnny Jackson


Passers-by noticed his chest rise as the monitor above him indicated a slowing heart beat.

He can bleed as well, said Joe Huse, manager of the Laerdal Medical Corporation's Georgia and north-central Florida territory.

The 125-pound mannequin, known as the SimMan 2G, is a fully-operational simulation apparatus - a sort of robotic patient used by medical professionals in training sessions.

Laerdal's SimMan 2G is the latest available mannequin of its kind, but members of the Henry Medical Center Foundation want the newer, wireless version of SimMan, called SimMan 3G. Presently, the hospital does not have a SimMan.

The Laerdal Medical Corporation began work on the SimMan 3G in February. Henry Medical Center is one of the only facilities in the region to pursue the new model still in the production process.

As a unit, the mannequin and its patient simulator equipment, would cost about $75,000.

On Friday, the 29-year-old Henry Medical Center Foundation, the hospital's fundraising arm, kicked off its "Employee Campaign," an annual effort to raise money to help pay for new medical equipment at the hospital.

Hospital employees were given an opportunity to view the SimMan 3G's predecessor, SimMan 2G. The foundation hoped to drum up support from employees for the new equipment purchase.

In 2008, the foundation raised about $45,000 for an AngioJet, a machine used to break apart blood clots.

Officials said they believe SimMan G3 will be a useful resource in the hospital's continuous training efforts.

"It's a piece that allows for educational training," said Adam Stanfield, the foundation's associate director. "We would definitely be the first to have this type of technology on the south side, and one of the first in the metro Atlanta market."

The SimMan unit, which would be managed through the hospital's education services unit, would allow hospital staff to set up real-life scenarios, using the SimMan 3G mannequin as a mock adolescent, adult, or geriatric patient.

Stanfield said the unit is capable of training simulations ranging from first-responder situations to hospital emergency room situations.

"We're very happy about it," said Eric Baker, education center coordinator for the hospital. "It will benefit everyone."

He said the use of SimMan 3G would allow medical personnel an opportunity to get additional on-the-job training.

"The benefit of this is that it enhances critical thinking," Baker said. "In the past, an instructor would usually say, 'Now what would you do?' And the student would just say what they would do, without actually taking any action. Now, they can solve problems as they would in the real world."

He said many of the hospital's 500 nurses would be able to use SimMan 3G in the process of re-certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. SimMan 3G would also lend itself to cross-training with local emergency medical services like the Henry County Fire Department, Baker said.


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