Like in many sports, hockey players can receive life-threatening injuries during a game. As such, the Tampa Bay Lightning conducts annual emergency medicine training sessions to improve their medical team’s performance and response time during medical emergencies.
This year, the Lightning’s team physicians and athletic trainers are participating in a new emergency medical skills training program thanks to USF’s Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). The training program uses one of Gaumard’s high fidelity patient simulators named HAL.
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Along with Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics and USF Health emergency medicine trainees, the Lightning’s medical team participated in the program which aims to give medical professionals from different fields the opportunity to practice life-saving stabilization procedures.
This is the first year a manikin is being used instead of a human standing in for an injured player. This is also the first time the medical teams can practice emergency procedures like intubation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the field. Practicing these skills on a healthy patient would be dangerous.
So, HAL was brought in to fill the gap. The life-like and versatile manikin can present many of the symptoms and conditions the medical teams will encounter in the real world. HAL’s breathing, heart rate, and pulses can be controlled, his eyes can blink and dilate, and he can present airway trauma from a neck injury.
With these and HAL’s many other lifelike features, the medical teams can finally practice giving care in situ. Additionally, unlike with a real patient, simulation allows the participants to run through a scenario multiple times. This allows the medical teams to practice lifesaving emergency skills until they master them.
The training also allows the teams to pick up on mistakes or different approaches to providing care. Thus, when a real emergency presents itself, the teams will be ready to respond quickly and be highly trained. This reduces medical errors and helps improve patient outcomes.