Interactive surgery tool aids military medic training

A highly interactive surgical simulation model developed at IST allows military medics to train for various trauma and medical emergencies that occur in the field. The project was designed to support the Army's Medical Simulation Technology initiative aimed at the development of technology for use in military medical training. The model realistically connects surgical simulation to the human patient simulator/combat training patient simulation simulator environment.

Main scenarios developed include amputation of leg caused by a mine blast; injury to the femoral artery with severe bleeding and lacerated wound of the arm accompanied by severe bleeding. Physical models developed for these scenarios are blended with the human patient simulator environment by special software patches that help produce the physiological changes in the simulator.

Researchers added these trauma situations to the "standardized soldier" model developed for the METI Human Patient Simulator. Each simulated scenario portrays the anatomical features and the physiological changes appropriate for the situation and allows a medic to intervene and stabilize the patient by controlling bleeding, monitoring vital signs, and correcting hypovolemia.

The suturing model developed is interactive with the simulated patient and allows realistic suturing in layers along with a capability for realistic bleeding. Trainees can monitor the patient's vital signs at every step of the simulation. A special pump provides realistic arterial bleeding.

The main goal of the project is to develop simulated life-threatening battlefield trauma scenarios that train medics in lifesaving procedures in the field.

This project also contributes to the creation of simulated surgical training centers that can recreate human trauma under crisis conditions caused by made-made or natural disaster.

For more information on this and other medical-related simulation and training initiatives, contact IST scientist, Bala Jaganathan, MD, jbala@ist.ucf.edu.