The miracle of birth – simulatedHigh-tech dummies simulate birth to help train doctors, nurses
At UND’s Human Simulation Center, doctors and nurses are training with Noelle, an advanced human simulator, and her baby, Hal, for all types of high-risk situations that can arise during childbirth. A video of the training can be found with the article.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
Noelle the plastic lady is having a baby, a little plastic baby, but she’s doing her best to act like she’s flesh and blood. Her pulse quickens. Her belly bulges. She’s bleeding a little down there.
And she’s getting real upset about the constant pain building up inside. “The pain! I need something for the pain!” she cries out for an epidural.
“We don’t have time for that, hon,” says Jennifer Laframboise, in a calm voice with a hint of merriness meant to keep Noelle calm. The nurse from Grand Forks’ Altru Health System puts a hand under the blanket and reaches into, well, to be polite, let’s call it a mechanical birth canal. “Just checking the position,” she says, by way of apology.
Inside, her fingers touch something hard with a slight crease at the top, telling her the baby’s head is in the position it should be; it won’t be a breech delivery. Another nurse calls for the doctor, Michael Brown, who comes in and suits up.
What’s happening here at UND’s Human Simulation Center is a simulation of the miracle of life. Noelle, technically known as Gaumard Scientific’s model S575, is like one of those CPR dummies, but much more advanced. She bleeds. She hemorrhages. She has seizures. Her heart beats. Her pupils dilate. Her baby, Hal, does, too. Both are controlled by technicians who can introduce all manners of complications.
“This is important,” Brown says. “There are high-risk situations that happen infrequently; we can practice these high-risk situations.”
The more practice staff has the less scary it’ll be when it’s real, Laframboise says.
The university acquired Noelle and Hal earlier this year, along with other models of dummies, to train med students and doctors and nurses regionwide. Altru, which started bringing in its people last week, has other training dummies, but these are the most advanced because they respond like real people.
Altru plans to train its staff quarterly.
Let’s get back to Noelle. She’s yelling now. Her legs are splayed, and between them, a tiny plastic head peeks out. Brown is there, hands waiting.
“C’mon Noelle, you can do it,” a nurse says. “You’re doing great.”
Out comes the baby, followed by an umbilical cord, which Brown has to cut and pull out of Noelle. He reaches in to get at the placenta. “Cervix intact. Some bleeding,” he tells the nurses at the bedside.
On the sheets beneath her, a pink liquid is pooling, simulated amniotic fluid and blood that he’s working to stanch.
In another corner, a team of nurses is working on baby Hal, urgently reading out his stats and performing chest compressions to steady his heart rate. Finally — “Wahhhh!” — the baby cries, taking in his first breath.
“That’s the noise that makes you say, ‘Thank you, Jesus,’” Brown says. “Even a simulation, it gives you goose bumps!”
The nurses bring the crying baby over to the new mom, someone moves her arm so she can hold him, and everyone applauds as if it were the real thing.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to email@example.com.