Nell Boyce, NPR
TraumaMan is one of various high-tech simulators currently being used in medical training.
TraumaMan is one of various high-tech simulators currently being used in medical training. Nell Boyce, NPR
TraumaMan should be called TorsoMan. He's a headless, legless, armless torso with nipples and a belly button. His ribs bulge beneath pink, rubbery skin. The chest rises and falls with each mechanical breath.
But cut TraumaMan, and does he not bleed? Well, yes — or at least, he delivers a "blood flow response" when cut by a scalpel. A synthetic device manufactured by the Seattle-based Simulab, TraumaMan is being used to help surgeons-in-training master emergency skills.
The realism of sophisticated simulators doesn't come cheap: The best go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. TraumaMan runs just a few thousand — but replacement parts cost extra.