Grant Application

Keri Hickman, CCP, LP, UPMC Presbyterian

Proposed Innovation

Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is one of the most complex techniques used in critical care. The multidisciplinary team providing treatment is expected to act quickly and appropriately to emergencies. Because the life threatening conditions requiring ECLS are rare, simulation is essential to prepare medical and nursing staff to confidently handle these situations.

New technology has been developed that allows multiple simulated cannulations to occur quickly and efficiently on a single training device. The aim of this project is to improve training by updating equipment using advanced, lifelike manikins.

Improvements in Action

In this project, two sophisticated life-size manikins with anatomical hearts will be purchased. This high-fidelity simulation model will provide realistic scenarios for the health care team to practice proper ECLS percutaneous cannulation techniques. A variety of cardiothoracic and critical care specialists — including perfusionists, fellows, residents, and nurses — will have the opportunity to develop, master, and maintain skills in a controlled setting.

Intended Outcomes

Simulation training will enable staff members to experience and gain confidence in managing ECLS emergencies. It also will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary training and improved teamwork and communication among team members.