TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students High-tech mannequins are now serving as fake patients for medical students, who find the dummies can mimic the human body in surprisingly realistic ways. Nell Boyce recently tried her hand at some emergency surgery on TraumaMan.
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TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students

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TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students

TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students

TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4624237/4625952" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

TraumaMan is one of various high-tech simulators currently being used in medical training. Nell Boyce, NPR hide caption

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Nell Boyce, NPR

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.