A Patient to Practice On

1 decade 1 year 9 months ago Monday, February 19 2007 Feb 19, 2007 Monday, February 19, 2007 6:05:12 PM CST February 19, 2007 in News

"His body responds physiologically correct, so every time, even though we're doing the same scenario, always something different happens. His blood pressure may go up, it may go down and that requires the student to intervene," Clinical Simulation Center Director Robin Wootten said.

Russ is a medical mannequin, and he's a far cry from the CPR doll most people remember from high school. Russ can mimic thousands of physical responses.

"The way the patient reacts to the medication that we give is extremely realistic, the monitors we use are identical. So, we can actually gain great experience when we're just starting our training on a mannequin as opposed to someone in the operating room," medical school resident Dr. Eric Hoyme said.

Russ reacts to drug just like any person would. He breathes, has a pulse, can answer your questions and can die. But most importantly, he offers young doctors some invaluable experience.

"The next scenario we're going to be practicing is malignant hypothermia. Some of us in our careers have never seen that. It's a rare disease, it's very dangerous, they die if it's not treated promptly," anesthesiologist Dr. Alice Landrum said.

Mistakes made on Russ are learning experiences, not reasons for a malpractice suit.

When the new Shelden Clinical Simulation Center opens on the MU campus next year, Russ will be joined by an entire family of medical mannequins, including a pregnant one so OB/GYN students can practice delivering a baby and a child mannequin for pediatric doctors. They're also going to hire actors to be family members so doctors learn how to deal with those situations too.

The manequin was named Russ after Dr. Russell Shelden. Dr. Shelden and his wife, Mary, donated $2.3 million to start the clinical simulation center. Dr. Sheldon is a graduate of the MU School of Medicine.

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