UK MoD to use scarily realistic mannequin to train Army surgeons

In a stomach-churning development, the UK Ministry of Defence has unveiled the latest version of the Surgical Advanced Mannequin (SAM) for training combat surgeons, which is almost too good at simulating battle injuries, including very realistic bleeding.

As anyone who has gone through CPR training knows, training mannequins aren’t exactly rare. Since 1967, when the Sim One robot was developed to teach anesthesiologists, simulation mannequins that can mimic symptoms with increasing realism have been used to train doctors, surgeons, nurses, medics, EMTs, and first-aiders.

Invented and developed by civilian orthopedic major trauma surgeon Professor Ian Pallister over 10 years, the latest version of SAM will be used during a highly realistic clinical exercise run by the Army Medical Services Training Centre (AMSTC) that simulates a field hospital taking on casualties.

This realism comes partly from the mannequin’s design, which is based on CT scans and 3D-printed masters of specific wounds, including gunshots and pelvic injuries. This means it can not only breathe, simulate various vital signs, and be intubated, it also looks very much like the realistic victim of a battlefield.

The SAM V whole body simulator
The SAM V whole body simulator

Trauma Simulation

SAM’s realism is so, well, realistic it has simulated ‘dead’ tissue that can be removed, and allows the surgeon to practice exploratory surgery. It also bleeds in an all-too human fashion, including arterial bleeding. To put it bluntly, it all adds up to something very gory and as a result, most of the images we found are not suitable to be included here.

Needless to say, any surgeon who can get through an exercise involving SAM will get a real education even without touching it.

SAM can simulate many human vital signs
SAM can simulate many human vital signs

Trauma Simulation

“Traditionally at AMSTC, we’ve used a live casualty actor with some make-up to deliver a list of symptoms and injuries,” said Clinical Adviser for Deployed Hospital Care, Army Medical Services Training, Colonel Jonny Round. “Professor Pallister’s model simulates, very realistically, combat wounds requiring surgical intervention.

“The surgeons get to operate, and the entire team train, in a field hospital that replicates the one they will find themselves deployed to. We are immensely proud that through this training we can deliver world-class medical teams to operations.”

Source: Ministry of Defence

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