Mass casualty scenarios are inherently dangerous with many risks to those on site. Subjecting novices to such scenarios prematurely could lead to additional risks or dangers due to inexperience and poor decision making. Additionally, such scenarios are often far too expensive to replicate at any complexity or scale that mimics the real world. For example, staging a training scenario that faithfully recreates the 9/11 events would be a production that rivals blockbuster Hollywood movies as fire, smoke, debris, victims are all staged and coordinated. Even then one would begin to introduce additional dangers to the trainee and eliminate the possibility of trainees having *exactly* the same scenario unfold before them.
This project is an extension of earlier work done for the CDC and Department of Homeland Security in which first responders were trained for a specific disaster scenario to great effect. The focus of this revision was to target the needs of the Emergency Medicine residency program while also making significant advances in visual quality and immersion. It became important for trainees to identify wounds quickly and effectively. Advanced shaders were used to allow for a greater amount of detail per surface so the details of burns and lacerations could be realized. Additionally, advanced skeletally animated characters were also introduced to allow for full articulation of characters.
The project was a large success as the related studies showed the simulator was just as effective at training residents as using standardized patients.
Additionally, the project was recently featured on the Big Ten Network as part of the “Blue in Brief” segments.