February 17, 2014By Lance Baily

SimPORTAL Launches New Realistic Intubation Trainer

A new realistic looking intubation task trainer from University of Minnesota’s SimPORTAL!

simportal intubation task trainer

Excerpt from the Star Tribune:


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“An interdisciplinary team of engineers, doctors, graduate students, industry partners and even a Hollywood makeup artist have developed a lifelike mannequin for the military to train combat medics on how to safely insert a breathing tube in the heat of even the most chaotic battles. Officials at the University of Minnesota’s Simulation PeriOperative Resources for Training and Learning (SimPORTAL) lab hope it’s the first in a line of increasingly complex simulated human models it will develop to more effectively train military medics, civilian EMTs and other first-responders on a litany of human trauma.

“We want to give them the most lifelike experience possible before we give them experience in real life,” said Dr. Robert Sweet, associate professor of urology and director of SimPORTAL. Ten other projects are in the SimPORTAL pipeline, he said.

Lifelike? The upper-torso mannequin’s skin has pores. Its tongue is coated with moisture. Its teeth click like real teeth. Its jaw moves like a real jaw. A synthetic spine allows the neck to move as a real patient’s would. Sensors embedded in the trachea register if a medic trainee exerts too much force when inserting a breathing tube. Real MRI scans of body parts and thousands of tissue sample properties stored in a massive database were used to provide engineers with the right size, scale, elasticity and “feel.”

Designers can even make the mannequin “bleed”, if necessary. “If you are going to simulate something, you need to define it in real life,” said Jack Stubbs, associate director of SimPORTAL.”


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SimPORTAL (Simulation PeriOperative Resource for Training and Learning) is the primary simulation training “portal,” or point of entry, for the procedurally oriented departments within the Medical School at the University of Minnesota. It arranges for, or directly provides space, equipment, technical and logistical support for educational activities involving technical skills and team training via simulation.

Visit the Star Tribune page to watch their news interview video of the new task-trainer. 


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