Noelle the Military Health System’s $20,000 mechanical mom is a mobile obstetrics emergency simulator used to improve emergency delivery skills. Noelle delivers an infant-sized mannequin baby once or twice a month for the labor and delivery personnel at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis Washington. Nine military treatment facilities currently use the simulator and 20 more are going to be delivered throughout the world to locations that include Korea and Japan.
Before Noelle, doctors and nurses in labor and delivery wards around the country dealt with child-birth emergencies as they arose in the clinical setting based on whether they had encountered similar situations in the past. “Even though these events are rare, we need to practice for them” according to Dr. Shad Deering, Director of the Anderson Simulation Center at the Madigan Medical Center.
Gaumard Scientific created Noelle in 1999 but it was Dr. Deering who created the mobile obstetrics emergencies simulator. He took the Noelle model and added modifications to simulate eclampsia, integrated the simulator with the DOD Teams STEPPS response system, and added a mobile cart to display maternal and fetal vital signs. This system is now referred to as the Mobile Obstetrics Emergency Simulator (MOES).
The final product MOES is capable of presenting a number of different emergencies that can range from full body seizures to post-partum hemorrhaging and gives the doctors and nurses hands-on experience to deal with emergency situations such when an infant’s shoulder gets stuck inside the womb and eclampsia. Now the team can practice each of these emergency scenarios.
Recently, the Anderson Simulation Center received $2.8 million in funding through the Office of the Surgeon General to establish the Army Central Simulation Committee with Dr. Deering named as the Chairman. The funding will be used to create a standardized simulation curriculum for 10 different specialties at all 10 Army training hospitals.