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SimMan® Suddenly Can’t Breathe? Residents Respond

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 10:41am

Pediatric dentistry residents Alexander Ochoa-Falla, DDS, and Stephanie Ferguson, DDS react to an emergency with their patient, SimMan® during a recent drill in UTSD’s Hinds Center for Simulation in Oral Surgery and Anesthesia. Not pictured is Derek Steinbring, DDS, who served as scribe.  Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

Pediatric dentistry residents Stephanie Ferguson, DDS (right), and Alexander Ochoa-Falla, DDS, react to an emergency with their patient, SimMan® during a recent drill in UTSD’s Hinds Center for Simulation in Oral Surgery and Anesthesia. Not pictured is Derek Steinbring, DDS, who served as scribe.  Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

Pediatric dentistry residents at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston recently used the SimMan® human patient simulator to test their skills at managing anesthesia-related complications in the dental chair. These included anaphylactic reactions, respiratory distress from oversedation, laryngospasm, aspiration of foreign material, and asthma attack.  

SimMan® is a high-fidelity simulation mannequin that can speak, cough and even snore. Devices inside the simulator and its accompanying equipment can be programmed to exhibit various vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and respirations. The mannequin can complain of chest pains, make wheezing noises to mimic breathing problems, and can be connected to intravenous lines or breathing tubes.

Kamal Busaidy, DDS, director of the Hinds Center for Simulation in Oral Surgery and Anesthesia at the School of Dentistry, said the simulated emergencies served several purposes.  

“One thing they all learned was that talking about emergencies is very different from experiencing the real thing — and the simulation experience is very close to the real thing,” he said. “Since I was able to record their performances and play them back, they could critique themselves at leisure.”

The simulation suite includes a mock patient treatment room, as well as a control-and-observation room behind a one-way mirror. From that vantage point, Pediatric Dentistry Department Chair Gary Badger, DDS, and other faculty members observed the residents handling the emergencies, later giving specific feedback during a debriefing after each simulation. The residents also had a chance to reflect on their own performances and discussed ways to improve.

Busaidy said it was the first time the pediatric dentistry residents have used the SimMan®, but additional exercises are planned for them and other UTSD students and community practitioners in the coming months. Oral and maxillofacial surgery residents have been working with SimMan® for several months.

The Hinds Center for Simulation in Oral Surgery and Anesthesia is funded jointly by UTSD and the Edward C. Hinds Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – an alumni association for graduates of the School of Dentistry’s OMS program. The organization is named for the department’s first chair, Edward Hinds, DDS, MD, who served from 1948-1983.

The total cost of SimMan® and of equipping the simulation suite with cameras and wireless technology totaled $110,000.

Pediatric dentistry residents wait outside the simulation suite for their turns managing emergencies in the dental chair.  Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

Pediatric dentistry residents wait outside the simulation suite for their turns managing emergencies in the dental chair.  Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.