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Baby simulator to train doctors


11 September, 2008  

Junior paediatric doctors are being given more effective training in how to deal with the first hours of critical care for sick babies, thanks to an advanced infant simulator developed at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

St Mary’s, part of the Imperial College NHS Trust, is using the system on hospital wards to replicate actual conditions and problems faced by paediatric teams by training them in their own environment.

Dr Claudine De Munter, consultant in paediatric intensive care and programme coordinator, said: “I bring the simulator to places where people actually work, so the situations are immediate and in context.”

Dr De Munter observes doctors during the 40-minute training exercise and gives feedback on how well they treated their “patient” and where they might improve.

“Historically, simulators have been used in the airline industry and we know there are lots of benefits to simulation,” she added. “If this type of training is compulsory for pilots, then it ought to be so in paediatric medicine, where the first hour of care is critical.”

An initial study, which Dr De Munter hopes will prove the tangible benefits of the training and allow it to secure a grant to implement a much wider study in the near future, is under way.

Copyright PA Business 2008

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust