SimMan Universal Patient Simulator

Laerdal's SimMan is a portable, instructor-driven manikin which is well suited to running codes and other on-site training programs throughout the institution. It consists of a full body manikin tethered by 2 small cords to a control system, which includes a laptop computer, a signal generator and an air compressor. There is also a monitor where vital signs are displayed.

The manikin has the ability to interact with the users in a number of realistic ways. There are bilateral carotid pulses, a brachial pulse, a radial pulse, and bilateral femoral pulses. These are controlled through the computer interface. The computer logs when these signs are checked by trainees, as well as when they begin and end chest compressions and ventilation, or when they administer a shock.

The airway is sophisticated enough to challenge all levels of trainee expertise. For beginning providers, the airway can be easier to intubate or mask ventilate. Breath sounds would be normal (clear, bilateral). For the more advanced user, many problems can be simulated, including swelling in the hypopharynx or tongue, decreased cervical range of motion, and trismus.

Defibrillation is possible using standard electrical settings (up to 360 joules). The program settings can be set up to either respond to the energy with a heart rhythm change or to ignore the shock to send trainees further down the treatment pathway. Special plates on the manikin's chest can be used with hands-free paddles to monitor the patient's heart rhythm.

Vital signs can be changed on the fly, or can be set ahead of time to change from one value to another over a given amount of time. If the scenario details cannot be laid out ahead of time, the instructor must run the computer and teach at the same time, but the interface is very user-friendly and can be learned quickly.

A log is available that includes both user interventions, such as chest compressions or pulse checks, and instructor-entered information that the manikin cannot sense, such as a trainee calling for additional help. This is a great review for the debriefing. It can be printed out so that the trainees have a record of their actions to review after the session.

An instructional video on the basic functions and running preprogrammed scenarios on SimMan can be viewed.