SoCal doctors use high-tech teaching tool to train young surgeons

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Doctors in West Los Angeles are working with a new high-tech teaching tool to give young surgeons true-to-life training. (KABC)

Doctors in West Los Angeles are working with a new high-tech teaching tool to give young surgeons true-to-life training.

Traumatic injuries happen every day and doctors have to be prepared to jump into action. How well they can save lives depends on their experience.

"The whole name of the game is to go as fast as possible. Get in and get control," said Cedars-Sinai Medical Center cardiac surgeon Dr. Alistair Phillips.

Medical school students, or surgeons-in-training, are getting a slice of realism thanks to an innovation called a "cut suit." A live volunteer wears the anatomically correct suit as he lies on the table.

The U.S. military developed the suit to help train surgeons dealing with traumatic injuries on the battlefield.

The goal is to not suspend reality and make the experience feel as real as possible.

The silicone skin, muscle, bones and blood vessels are paired with electrical pumps that simulate bleeding.

One lesson is how to put a breathing tube into the trachea when it can't be done through the mouth, and how to stop the bleeding in someone shot in the abdomen.

During the first training session at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, trainees learned from their mistakes.

Phillips showed how an initial incision made into the ribs was too low.

Chief resident Michael Choi said, "The suit is very high-fidelity. It's very realistic and it does bleed."

The National Trauma Institute estimates that traumatic injuries kill about 200,000 Americans and account for more than two million hospitalizations every year.

Doctors believe training like this can help bring those numbers down.

"I think it's going to help in-hospital survival after a massive trauma," Phillips added.

Junior resident Dr. Shah Akhmerov said, "It's unfortunate that these types of crimes are still occurring, but we have to be prepared in order to deal with them."

The Cedar-Sinai Women's Guild raised the $50,000 for the cut suit, so no matter what comes their way, surgeons believe they'll be ready.
Related Topics:
healthsurgerydoctorshealthy livingWest Los AngelesLos Angeles
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