SimMan gives Landstuhl combat medics life-like training
LANDSTUHL, Germany — One of the newest patients at Landstuhl Regional medical Center may be a mannequin, but he’s no dummy.
SimMan is a computer-linked mannequin that goes beyond other simulation dummies — it breathes, has a pulse and can replicate virtually any medical condition.
The first SimMan, worth about $27,000, arrived at Landstuhl on Jan. 16. Since then, 17 combat medics have been certified to train others on the mannequin.
“He can be used in any scenario,” said Lt. Col. Sheryl Meadows, chief of the education division at Landstuhl.
The sex of SimMan can even be changed; when the mannequin is a female, it can simulate pregnancy.
“Anything you do on a real patient can be done on this guy,” said Sgt. Brandy Adkins, SimMan instructor. “It’s the closest you can get to a real human being.”
Using SimMan’s computer, the mannequin can be given a variety of maladies that may include a heart attack, collapsed lungs or an obstructed airway. Body parts can be added or removed to simulate gunshot wounds or amputations, complete with simulated blood or foaming at the mouth.
And of course, there’s its unlimited vocabulary. Trainers can add their own phrases to SimMan’s generic comments — “Man, I feel like I’m going to die,” “I can’t breathe.”
Every action performed on SimMan is recorded in the computer’s log, which students and instructors can use to determine what went well and what may have gone wrong in training. If the wrong treatment is administered or medics run out of time, SimMan could die.
Another mannequin is on its way, which will make four available at the Landstuhl Simulation Center.
“We’re so excited,” Meadows said. “[It’s] just the greatest trainer that we’ve got — not only what it means to our soldiers, but to the soldiers on the battlefield.”