Hi-tech baby becomes latest addition to hospital's training family

A lifelike baby mannequin is helping staff at Southampton's teaching hospitals enhance their skills and prepare students for life on the wards.

SimBaby, a computer-controlled patient simulator that can be programmed to imitate real-life medical situations, will be used by students, paediatric nurses and doctors on a range of courses.

It is the second device of its kind to be employed by Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, the first being full-sized equivalent SimMan.

As well as containing pre-programmed heart, lung and vocal sounds, the models replicate blood pressure and pulse functions, and facilitate training in resuscitation and other life saving techniques.

SimBaby will be used on various courses, including patient assessment, airway management, advanced life support and revision sessions for specialist registrars in the Emergency Department.

The simulator will also provide specialist training for staff in the paediatric and neuro intensive care units and theatres.

Carl Read, clinical skills simulation suite co-ordinator at SUHT, said: "SimMan has proved invaluable in developing the skills of our staff and students over the past few years. We are delighted to now be able to expand the body simulation training programme even further."

SimBaby, which will be based in the newly refurbished simulation suite at Southampton General Hospital, was purchased following a successful grant bid made to NHS Education South Central.

Issued: 6 April 2009

Posted on Monday 6 April 2009