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J Clin Monit. 1996 Jan;12(1):91-9.

Simulators for anesthesia.

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Sir Humphry Davy Department of Anaesthesia, Bristol Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom.


Two commercially available complete anesthetic simulators were studied in the United States. Although there are some differences between the two systems, each consists of an adult manikin allowing some direct anesthetic interventions, a system of producing physiologic signals to any commercial monitoring system, and the ability to interface with an anesthetic machine and ventilator. In addition, both simulators model the responses to a variety of drugs used by anesthetists. With their associated computer controls, it is possible to mimic a number of recognized anesthetic critical situations and to record the responses made by the anesthetist and determine the effects on the "patient." In use, one system is devoted principally to teaching crisis resource management to anesthetists. The other system is used more generally to teach anesthetists how to approach a variety of problems. In our opinion, each system could be used in either of these ways. Both systems are capable of development into valuable teaching tools for anesthetists and for others involved in critical care. There is potential for the training of paramedics or nurses involved in anesthetic and recovery room care and intensive care. Other options include the investigation of critical events and the development and subsequent testing of clinical management protocols. Anesthetists are familiar with the use of manikins in the teaching of airway management and basic and advanced life support. Newer manikins can be used to practice skills in intravascular cannulation; some can be used with monitoring equipment and defibrillators to provide more realistic teaching. Computer programs, especially those for personal computers (PCs), can also be used to simulate the pharmacophysiologic behavior of patients in a variety of states. Now available are combined systems using manikins controlled by computer, with interfaces to anesthetic machines, ventilators, and monitoring equipment. Two systems are commercially available in the United States. In this report, we briefly describe their technical specifications and how we saw them being used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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