Simulating Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Emergencies to Improve Human Performance. Part I: Methodologic and Technologic Innovations

Department of Pediatrics, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR 97239-1077, USA.
Simulation in healthcare: journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (Impact Factor: 1.48). 12/2006; 1(4):220-7. DOI: 10.1097/01.SIH.0000243550.24391.ce
Source: PubMed


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a form of long-term cardiopulmonary bypass used to treat infants, children, and adults with respiratory and/or cardiac failure despite maximal medical therapy. Mechanical emergencies on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) have an associated mortality of 25%. Thus, acquiring and maintaining the technical, behavioral, and critical thinking skills necessary to manage ECMO emergencies is essential to patient survival. Traditional training in ECMO management is primarily didactic in nature and usually complemented with varying degrees of hands-on training using a water-filled ECMO circuit. These traditional training methods do not provide an opportunity for trainees to recognize and interpret real-time clinical cues generated by human patients and their monitoring equipment. Adult learners are most likely to acquire such skills in an active learning environment. To provide authentic, intensive, interactive ECMO training without risk to real patients, we used methodologies pioneered by the aerospace industry and our experience developing a simulation-based training program in neonatal resuscitation to develop a similar simulation-based training program in ECMO crisis management, ECMO Sim.
A survey was conducted at the 19th Annual Children's National Medical Center ECMO Symposium to determine current methods for ECMO training. Using commercially available technology, we linked a neonatal manikin with a standard neonatal ECMO circuit primed with artificial blood. Both the manikin and circuit were placed in a simulated neonatal intensive care unit environment equipped with remotely controlled monitors, real medical equipment and human colleagues. Twenty-five healthcare professionals, all of whom care for patients on ECMO and who underwent traditional ECMO training in the prior year, participated in a series of simulated ECMO emergencies. At the conclusion of the program, subjects completed a questionnaire qualitatively comparing ECMO Sim with their previous traditional ECMO training experience. The amount of time spent engaged in active and passive activities during both ECMO Sim and traditional ECMO training was quantified by review of videotape of each program.
Hospitals currently use lectures, multiple-choice exams, water drills, and animal laboratory testing for their ECMO training. Modification of the circuit allowed for physiologically appropriate circuit pressures (both pre- and postoxygenator) to be achieved while circulating artificial blood continuously through the circuit and manikin. Realistic changes in vital signs on the bedside monitor and fluctuations in the mixed venous oxygen saturation monitor were also effectively achieved remotely. All subjects rated the realism of the scenarios as good or excellent and described ECMO Sim as more effective than traditional ECMO training. They reported that ECMO Sim engaged their intellect to a greater degree and better developed their technical, behavioral, and critical thinking skills. Active learning (eg, hands-on activities) comprised 78% of the total ECMO Sim program compared with 14% for traditional ECMO training (P < 0.001). Instructor-led lectures predominated in traditional ECMO training.
Traditional ECMO training programs have yet to incorporate simulation-based methodology. Using current technology it is possible to realistically simulate in real-time the clinical cues (visual, auditory, and tactile) generated by a patient on ECMO. ECMO Sim as a training program provides more opportunities for active learning than traditional training programs in ECMO management and is overwhelmingly preferred by the experienced healthcare professionals serving as subjects in this study. Subjects also indicated that they felt that the acquisition of key cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills and transfer of those skills to the real medical domain was better achieved during simulation-based training.

40 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The leading causes of pregnancy-related death are embolism (20%), hemorrhage (17%), and pregnancy-induced hypertension (16%).The Obstetric and Mechanical Engineering Departments at Stanford University worked together to create inexpensive devices that were used in high fidelity simulations to replicate 2 of the leading causes of maternal mortality: hemorrhage and eclampsia (seizure). The mechanisms were designed to behave as similarly as possible to a human patient. The engineering team designed the eclampsia mechanism to jostle the mannequin's head at a frequency and randomness that matched those observed in human generalized seizures. The hemorrhage mechanism was designed to give visual and tactile cues similar to the actual physiology of a pregnant uterus. Both devices were remote controlled. The hemorrhage mechanism was used in a scenario of an amniotic fluid embolism with severe postpartum hemorrhage. The final flow rate was adjustable between 525 and 600 mL/min. The trainees' rapid response and control of the postpartum hemorrhage was deemed to be a vital part of a successful maternal resuscitation. The seizure mechanism was used in a simulation of a pregnant woman in labor with evidence of severe preeclampsia. If the trainees did not recognize the need for treatment of the preeclampsia, the patient simulator had a 45- to 60-second seizure. If corrective actions were not taken, another seizure occurred. The use of remote controlled mechanical devices designed to accurately replicate the visual, auditory, and tactile cues of hemorrhage and eclampsia enhanced high fidelity simulation training in obstetrical emergencies.
    Simulation in healthcare: journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare 02/2008; 3(1):42-6. DOI:10.1097/01.SIH.0000290632.83361.4b · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Though much has been surveyed and written about the equipment aspects of extracorporeal life support (ECLS) in the past 10 years, there is value in reviewing the use and nonuse of multiple safety devices and techniques. Minimally equipped ECLS circuits for adult and pediatric bridge to decision during cardiac and respiratory failure are rapidly gaining popularity to maintain simplicity and portability. ECLS circuits employed for long-term therapy are outfitted differently and should include more safety devices. The purpose of this review is to compare and contrast the spectrum of minimally equipped ECLS circuits to circuits with maximum flexibility and safety device protection. Due to the lack of high-level, well-controlled scientific studies regarding ECLS equipment and safety devices, this study reviews the basis for how we use ECLS circuits and devices in our institution to provide safe patient support.
    Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia 09/2009; 13(3):138-45. DOI:10.1177/1089253209347895
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Severe reactions to radiographic contrast agents can be life threatening, and although they are rare, effective recognition and management are essential to improving outcomes. A high-fidelity radiology simulation course for radiology residents and technologists focusing on severe contrast reactions and immediate treatments was designed to test the hypothesis that knowledge would improve with this educational intervention. A prospective pretest and posttest study design was used. Residents and technologists worked in teams of three to five members. Learning objectives focused on demonstrating when and how to use basic life support skills and epinephrine auto-injectors. Each resident and technologist was administered a pretest prior to the start of the case scenarios and a posttest following the debriefing session. Scores from the pretest and posttest for the residents and technologists were compared using a paired-samples t test. Nineteen radiology residents and 11 radiology technologists participated. The average test scores were higher and improved significantly following the simulation experience for both the radiology residents (57% vs 82%, P < .001) and technologists (47% vs 72%, P = .006). Anonymous evaluations demonstrated that the experience was well received by residents and technologists, with 97% of learners (29 of 30) rating the experience as extremely or very helpful. Important learning themes included the knowledge of epinephrine auto-injector use and basic life support skills. High-fidelity simulation for radiology residents and technologists focusing on epinephrine auto-injector use and basic life support skills during the first 5 minutes of a severe contrast reaction can significantly improve recognition and knowledge in treating patients having severe contrast reactions.
    Academic radiology 07/2010; 17(7):934-40. DOI:10.1016/j.acra.2010.03.016 · 1.75 Impact Factor
Show more