Eight-month old Maddie Sims was ejected from a car and
transported by EMS to the hospital. She was cyanotic on arrival.
A team of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) techs, nurses
and physicians packed around Maddie’s bedside.
“Let’s get the leads and get the airway,” delegates one
While the alarm sounds go off, the clinical team works
restlessly to give Maddie another go at breathing.
Maddie Sims is actually CHLA’s high-fidelity infant patient
simulator. After the simulation ends, the clinical team and
instructors at CHLA Las Madrinas Simulation Research Laboratory
hold a “debriefing” to discuss what happened. Some of the
learning points include what worked well and what to do better
next time. These clinicians are literally practicing medicine
using a real-life situation in a non-stressful environment.
Simulation centers are growing across the US, mainly due to a
transforming medical education curriculum and patient
safety1. Simulation centers also provide
interdisciplinary healthcare teams hands-on training to improve
patient care. In such an environment, clinicians are allowed to
recover from medical errors without causing harm to patients.
Further, healthcare providers can advance their skills and learn
how to communicate with teams.
Simulation centers are areas where mistakes can be made and
health professionals can benefit from the lessons learned.
Simulators like Maddie are realistic in terms of anatomy and
clinical functionality: she breathes, has a heartbeat, can vary
her resistance to ventilation, seizes and changes skin color as
in cyanosis. The types of procedures a clinician can practice on
a high-fidelity simulator include intubation, defibrillation, and
CPR. A virtual learning environment is appropriate for medical
schools and continuing education programs. Students of a
simulation program not only learn how important it is to
communicate with a team, but they can build their medical
competencies and confidence.
 CH Argani et al. The case for simulation as part of a
comprehensive patient safety program. Am J Obstet Gynecol.
2012 Jun; 206(6): 451-5.