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iStan is no ordinary man

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By The Staff

Oldham County EMS’ high-tech patient cries, bleeds and speaks

Oldham County Emergency Medical Services has purchased a new iStan patient simulator for use in healthcare simulation training around the state. 

The $68,000 simulator was purchased with the aid of a $10,000 donation from Baptist Hospital Northeast, a $5,000 donation from the Hospital Emergency Response Association and a $10,000 Kentucky Senate 66 grant. 

Built by METI, the leading manufacturer of medical simulation products and educational software, iStan was originally developed for use by the U.S. Army and provides the latest medical educational technology available for training healthcare practitioners, including doctors, nurses and medics.

Oldham County EMS plans to make its iStan a regional asset used to train EMTs, paramedics, nurses and physicians in the area. 

Oldham County EMS is the only service in the state to have such an advanced medical simulator. 

An ambulance is being refurbished as a mobile training unit which will be used to train EMS agencies and hospitals in counties throughout Kentucky. 

The device also includes a sophisticated pharmacological database which allows the simulator to automatically react to medications administered by the student.

Based on human physiological models, iStan is capable of bleeding, breathing, talking, blinking and numerous other human characteristics and medical emergency scenarios including heart attack, drug overdose, vehicular accidents and effects from weapons of mass destruction.

“We believe strongly in the benefits simulation brings to healthcare education,” said Ron Wilder, Oldham County EMS director. “Using iStan, students will not only be learning technical skills, but will be exposed to the high pressure of saving a life in an emergency situation.”

What sets iStan apart from the training mannequins of the past is just how incredibly lifelike and realistic it is. 

He operates wirelessly from a computer, bends like a real person, has skin with follicles and will live and die based on the quality of medical care he receives. 

It all adds up to providing professionals and students with the latest technology to help develop the confidence and competence they’ll need in caring for real patients.

Baptist Northeast Emergency Department Director Benita McNally said, “Having the opportunity to embark on this venture with our partners in the community only strengthens the relationship between the first responders (Oldham County EMS) and the first receivers (the emergency department). 

“The simulation of lifelike scenarios will greatly enhance the learning experience for staff and physicians alike,” she said.