Combat Casualty

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COLUMBIA - Computerized mannequins have been teaching future emergency care surgeons how to deal with a variety of situations. The $5.3 million grant from the U-S Department of Defense is going to test how effective this training is. Along with the University of Missouri, the University of Minnesota also got a grant to study Combat Casualty Care.

The Department of Defense is looking for recommendations on how to improve trauma care in the future.

The prinicipal investigator, Stephen Barnes, MD, met with the Combat Casualty Care Training Consortium to discuss where the money should be spent, after the announcement was made Tuesday morning.  One way the money will be spent is through computerized mannequins, that Barnes demonstrated Tuesday.

A medical director from the University of Missouri, Robert Bell, has been working with these types of computerized mannequins for nine years. Bell was also an emergency care doctor in Iraq for a year, and said one of the reasons these mannequins are useful is, "the anxiety level is higher in this enviornment because of this they (the students) retain more information."

Bell said following the simulation the students meet in a room to watch their own procedure and make corrections and critiques.

The mannequins can simulate more than 100 situations.  The Combat Casualty Care Training Program wants to focus on the three areas of trauma care: hemorrhage control, airway management and emergency medical skills. 

The study will last two years and the consortium will meet with MU medical researchers several times throughout each year.