April 15, 2017 4 min read

Different brands and models of manikins are used for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training. Together with other simulation equipment and supplies, these various types of life support manikinsare essential to Life Support Training. Incidentally, Advanced Life Support or ALS is the final stage in the so-called Chain of Survival. It is also the start of patient healing. Yet, there are more important aspects of life support we need to understand closely. Two of the most important are CPR and Chest Defibrillation.

Manikins & Simulators

Manikins are used in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Chest Defibrillation training. Trainers and students treat the manikin as if it were a real person. Instructors of basic as well as advanced life support programs opt for tested training equipment. Some of the major types of life support manikinsthey use for instructions are:

  • Basic Life Support/CPR Manikins
  • ALS Manikins
  • Rescue Manikins

These come in multiple sizes, weights and brands. Popular and lifelike training manikins are manufactured by Simulaids, LifeForm and Laerdal Medical. These products cost up to $5, 000 each especially because of skins that appear and feel like the real thing. The preferred types of life support manikinshave features like structurally-correct air passages for appropriate techniques in airway management; lifelike jaws for jaw trust methods and head-tilt or chin-lift in opening airways; and, realistic nose that can be pinched for effective mouth to mouth breathing.

Many healthcare institutions and emergency rescue facilities also use brands like:

  • Resusci® 
  • Anne QCPR® 
  • AEDand Resusci® 
  • Baby QCPR® AED

Two more well-known types of life support manikins are the CPR Prompt Dual Adult and Child Manikins that provides inexpensive one-student to one-training for CPR and Automated External Defibrillator as well as the Heimlich maneuver. This is a procedure in First Aid used to dislodge a blockage from the windpipe. The medical specialist applies sudden and strong pressure on the stomach between the rib cage and belly button. The other is called the Economy Adult CPR Sani-Manikin that features a disposable single-user lung, airway and face-shield system.

Computerized Manikins

Automated manikins have been found effective by individuals training in AED and CPR. These types of life support manikins ensure that teachers can easily detect even the slightest mistakes of students performing CPR. Hence, trainers can rectify these mistakes immediately to prevent negative patient outcome.

Another consideration is the act of performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (compressions) on overweight persons. Of course, it is not prudent to use thin manikins for this purpose because it does not prepare the student effectively. The Bariatric CPR manikin or “Old Fat Fred” is unique since it teaches learners to assist obese and elderly folks who experience sudden cardiac arrest. Features of these manikins include massive body with extra layers of fats; aged physical appearance; head-tilt and chin-lift for airway opening; and, physical anatomical markers. The latter consists of the rib cage, sternum or breast bone, thoracic and jugular notches.

Manikin Simulators

The other types of life support manikins and simulators are the following.

  • ALS Trainer Torso Only with Simulator which is an adult torso manikin that students can use for delivery of oxygen, nasal and oral intubation, and bag mask ventilation. It enables palpitation of the carotid pulse as well as ABC assessment tool. Said manikin also teaches intra-muscular injections and intravenous therapy or venous blood sampling. This product comes with a CPR head, ECG rhythm generator, Intubation head, and soft casing.
  • Deluxe Infant Airway Trainer is a station trainer from Simulaids that utilizes new skin technology. It is very durable and possesses lifelike appearance with lightweight stand making it ideal for pediatric airway training. The material eliminates the risk of airway tearing and need for expensive repairs due to intubation attempts of beginners. The semi-transparent feature facilitates lifelike illumination of the neck and air passage. Vocal chords are focused for convenient viewing. All anatomical marks are evident.
  • Stat Simulator Deluxe Adult Airway Management Head replaces the vinyl head on the STAT Simulator. Features include body landmarks, larynx spasm, tongue edema, cricothyrotomy, and bilateral carotid pulses. It is possible to use all airway attachments during training. There are instructions for disconnecting the head and using the color-size and color code connections for straightforward fitting of replacement head. It is the only head of this variety in the market. The Head is more lifelike compared to other models. Likewise, the face and tongue are more flexible and cannot be damaged during aggression by the Laryngoscope.

Low and High Fidelity Manikins

The subject of types of life support manikins also covers the efficacy of high fidelity against low fidelity manikins. This consideration should be within the framework of modern and effective life support training. According to several academic and professional research studies, manikins must be instrumental in improving the knowledge of students; their skills performance at the end of the course; skills performance in CPR; and, patient outcomes.

In medical simulation, the manikin as patient simulator safely enables clinical skills training, cognitive judgment or assessment, and behavioral communications in professional healthcare environments. The level of realism or being lifelike of training manikins ranges from low fidelity to high fidelity. The high fidelity manikin is capable of simulating real-life situations easily than its counterpart.

Utilization of high fidelity manikins specifically for modern life support training is related to reasonable benefits to enhance skills performance during course conclusion. The consensus is high fidelity manikins can impact the student and determine his or her efficiency in real life. It will be safe to conclude that healthcare practitioners need to consider models, brands, effectiveness, and prices in choosing from among types of life support manikins.

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