High-tech mannequins help with emergency drills at Community Campus

Each month, the emergency department at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus has been conducting simulated emergency drills to prepare medical staff for new, often fast-moving situations.

A recent drill involved a hypothetical patient—in this case a high-tech mannequin equipped with breathing sounds, chest movement and changing vital signs—being brought to the Community Campus emergency room in a personal vehicle rather than an ambulance. The mannequin suffered blunt trauma to the chest after being run over by a piece of farm equipment and needed to be resuscitated.

Emergency department staff had to safely remove the simulated patient from the back seat of pickup truck and move him to the emergency room. There, staff identified the patient’s injuries and administered treatment. All the while, a technician from Upstate’s Department of Emergency Medicine manipulated the mannequin’s vital signs, which forced medical staff to change course several times in order to stabilize him.

“We do this here so we do it right in real life,” said Dr. Jay Brenner, MD, director of the emergency department at Community Campus.

After the drill, Brenner led the team through a debriefing session to talk about what went right and where the team can make improvements. The recent resuscitation drill is the third emergency simulation at the Community Campus this year, with more planned each month moving forward.

Caption: Staff at Upstate’s Community Campus take part in an emergency drill with a high-tech mannequin.

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