Back to Military Life

Andersen Simulation Center

Trauma Lane provides realistic combat scenario for medical personnel

The team uses moulage kits to put the finishing touches on a mannequin at Trauma Lane in the Charles A. Andersen Simulation Center. Photo credit: Madigan Army Medical Center Public Affairs Office

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

As you enter the smoke-filled room, the sounds of battle fill the air, and the heartbreaking groans of casualties cause your heart to beat a little faster. Realistic mannequins with blood gushing from realistic battle injuries and the smell of burnt flesh await medical treatment, some with body parts blown off. The heat of the room is intense, as is the whole experience. This is Trauma Lane or Point of Injury Lane at the Charles A. Andersen Simulation Center (ASC) located at the Operational Medicine Annex at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The experience is designed to help medical personnel prepare for combat.

"The trainees are amazed at the realism of their experience and the level of simulated stress during the scenarios," said Lt. Col. Thomas A. Bryant, deputy director for Operational Medicine for ASC. "Nearly all participants want to use the facility again in the future and have recommended it to other units on base."

As trainees move through the lane, they must react to the situation.

"We use direct observation and mannequin feedback while following the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3) guidelines. One other unique piece is the ability to modify the scenario to prepare units for specific injury patterns," Bryant said.

In a combat situation, care is divided into three phases: (1) care under fire, (2) tactical field care and (3) tactical evacuation care. Mannequin simulators can breathe, bleed and simulate a multitude of medical scenarios and provide feedback.

The majority of participants who experience the training are preparing for or returning from an overseas combat deployment. Others train to improve their overall unit readiness.  

"The training has helped tremendously with hands-on muscle memory (and) has solidified treatment protocols and improved overall patient survival," Bryant said.

During the recent Amtrak train derailment near DuPont, all eyes were on MAMC.

"Most of the training in this facility is focused on realistic modern-day combat wounds in a mass-casualty scenario with limited resources," Bryant said. "Nevertheless, the training would definitely help with the competence of the students faced with civilian-type mass casualty scenarios like the train accident. Trainees are taught in a limited-resource environment and are likely to perform exceptionally well in an environment with an abundance of resources."

In addition to Trauma Lane, the center offers a variety of simulators that can be used for training in a hospital environment. There are adult, pediatric and infant mannequins as well as a Trauma Man and Trauma Child on which to practice advanced trauma life support skills.

"The Charles A. Andersen Simulation Center was the first in the Department of Defense to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Educational Institution in 2007, and is one of only approximately 50 simulation centers in the world to have received this honor," according to the MAMC website. "(It) was granted full accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in 2010 in all available areas (Assessment, Research, Teaching/Education, and Systems Integration)."

Read next close


Medford, Oregon

comments powered by Disqus