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Released August 25, 2004

LONG BEACH -- Meet SimMan, a computerized patient simulator that will soon be the center of high-tech training at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park campus.

Laerdal's SimMan is a full-body mannequin that actually breathes and speaks. He has heart, breath and bowel sounds and pulses that can be felt. SimMan has a unique patented airway that allows for insertion of a breathing tube and the practice of multiple Advanced Life Support skills.

You can perform CPR on Laerdal SimMan, or even shock him with defibrillators. If necessary, you can make him die - all for the purpose of putting nursing students and emergency professionals in a realistic situation. Not to worry, SimMan comes back to life again to train the next group of participants.

According to Laerdal representative Joe Huse, Southern Miss is the first in the state of Mississippi to purchase the $38,000 revolutionary mannequin.

Answering the need for affordable, easy-to-use, extremely realistic training, SimMan provides the opportunity to practice lifesaving clinical, technical and decision-making skills without the risk to patients or health care providers.

Studies show patient simulation has reduced costs and malpractice risks in the heath care industry. Southern Miss sees the opportunities SimMan can provide not only for its nursing students, but also for continuing education training for the Gulf Coast community.

"Learners will use SimMan to apply and integrate knowledge, skill and critical thinking in a safe, non-threatening environment," said Dr. Mary Coyne, Gulf Coast professor and chair of the College of Health. "Students will gain confidence in skills prior to taking care of real-life patients. Our ultimate goal is to provide the Gulf Coast with outstanding nurses and other health care professionals who provide safe quality care to Mississippians."

It has been estimated that despite the heroic, lifesaving efforts of health care professionals, thousands of patients die annually because of medical error. Simulation training is rapidly advancing as an important component of medical education.

"This is very exciting. It will allow the students to be exposed to situations that they normally do not have the opportunity to experience," said Jennifer Dumal, vice president of patient care services at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. "It certainly will enhance critical thinking skills, particularly in the area of patient critical care."

For more information on SimMan, the university's undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, and continuing education opportunities, call (228) 865-4517.


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September 10, 2004 10:23 AM