Watch CBS News

Computerized Mannequins Help With Pediatric Emergency Training

By Jennifer Brice

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – First responders from Littleton Fire Rescue received crucial, hands-on training on Friday using computerized mannequins.

They got to use state-of-the-art equipment to learn how best to treat pediatric patients.

Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado's School of Medicine put on the training because because only one in every 10 medical calls are for a child and that means crews don't get as much practice.

CBS4's Jennifer Brice got an inside look at the training.

Inside the pediatric mobile simulation lab, LFR staff learned how to best help a sick baby. A mannequin, named Lisa, is meant to be a 1-year-old. In the scenario the nanny (who was really a doctor from Children's) explained to firefighters that the child was having a hard time breathing.

(credit: CBS)

On the other side of ambulance simulator was Jason Kotas, EMS Program Manager with Children's Hospital. He controlled what was happening to the baby and thus affected the paramedics' response.

"We want to force them to play with certain tools, different drugs, so we made the patient spiral down and are slowing his heart rate down," said Kodas.

The crew noticed and began CPR, eventually reviving the baby.

LFR Lieutenant Ben Sipe took the training. He said pediatric calls are the most stressful and difficult.

"We don't run them very often so by having the mannequin that reacts to our treatments as opposed to somebody pretending to be that patient it allows us to engage more," he said.

(credit: CBS)

Children's Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine take the simulator across the state to train EMS on pediatric emergencies.

The child mannequins cost about $30,000 so not many states have access to the valuable resource. Colorado, though, has has a handful of them, including adult mannequins.

Sipe says he's never had training like this and called it amazing.

"It (the mannequin) breathes, it makes wheezing sounds, breathing sounds, pupils react to us ... and we can feel for pulses," Sipe said.

Kotas hopes families sleep better knowing this resource and training is here.

"We're constantly out here doing this and we're taking the time on the front end to train and practice and practice."

After staff ran through the hands-on training, they had a debrief and went over what happened.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.