SVMC to Host Computer Medical Simulator for Training


For Immediate Release
11 Sept. 2009
Media Contact: Eileen Druckenmiller
BENNINGTON — Stan became well-known in his supporting role in an episode of the television show Grey's Anatomy. Now Stan, a medical training robot known in the medical community as METIman, is coming to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) as part of a training agreement between the hospital and Life Net of New York, a helicopter medical transport service.
"The METIman will allow us to provide realistic medical training to physicians, nurses, and other technicians throughout SVMC as well as to members of local ambulance services," explained Dr. Paul Vinsel, medical director of the SVMC Emergency Department. "There are over 120 scenarios that we can program into the simulator. They range from a relatively mild case of heat exhaustion to severe blunt abdominal trauma or burns. We are grateful to Life Net for allowing us to use their training simulator free of charge."
METIman is a life-like mannequin with a sophisticated set of computer-controlled effects that can simulate a wide range of illnesses and injuries. It vomits, bleeds, has normal and abnormal heart beats, pulses, and blood pressure, as well as digestion sounds. It breathes and exhales CO2 that can be measured. The mannequin is operated wirelessly from a laptop computer controlled by an instructor. Typically located in an adjoining room, the instructor programs the scenario and uses a wireless microphone system to play the part of the patient, answering the care providers’ questions and expressing pain.
The Life Net simulator is housed in a 32-ft. trailer. Because it is regularly used to train the medical flight crews who provide transport from SVMC to Albany Medical Center or other hospitals, the inside of the simulator is painted to look like a Life Net helicopter. The air-conditioned trailer also contains all of the equipment needed to run the simulation. Life Net plans to provide the trailer to SVMC for two weeks.
"Life Net has a long relationship with SVMC and the ambulance crews in southern Vermont," said Jonathan Gryniuk, Life Net's business manager. "Only one other hospital uses our services more often." Gryniuk said that Life Net offered the simulator as a way to reach out to the communities that know little about Life Net's services. "Our flight crews are continually exposed to the dynamic training this simulator offers," Gryniuk said. "Loaning the simulator to SVMC not only provides a great training experience for SVMC's personnel and area ambulance services, but it also demonstrates that we provide more than simply a fast ride to another hospital."
A Life Net flight crew consists of a flight nurse, flight paramedic, and a pilot. In addition, each aircraft has a certified mechanic assigned to it to provide 24/7 maintenance. Life Net of New York is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). This accreditation is based on the highest standards in safety, clinical practice, quality assurance, and training. It is owned and operated by Air Methods Corporation, based in Denver, Colo.
SVMC is a part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC). SVHC is a community-based, not-for-profit health system that exists solely for the benefit of the communities it serves. It is SVHC’s mission to make the communities it serves the healthiest in the nation.

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