Thursday, October 30, 2014

Proof that Sim and CPR Saves Lives

The Sim Team at Drexel received a kind thank message from one of our former Emergency Medicine Residents, Lauren Donnelly, MD.  Lauren now works for Temecula Valley Hospital in Temecula, CA and recently helped save the life of a 9 year old boy who suffered cardiac arrest after being electrocuted on October 4th, 2014.  

Elijah Belden was playing at his birthday party when he grabbed a metal pole in his backyard that became electrified from decorative lights. He instantly fell to the ground and became unresponsive.  Luckily, a family friend started CPR right away and paramedics were on the scene within five minutes. Elijah was brought to Temecula Valley Hospital where Lauren took what she learned in the Drexel Sim Lab and put it to work to save Elijah's life.  

Lauren was the only medical doctor on staff that night and was given little notice that Elijah was on is way in to the ER.  He arrived in V-fib arrest and after being shocked one time he converted to NSR.  However, due to eating lots of pizza and soda at the party he instantly began to vomit and Lauren was unable to protect his airway and decided to start intubation.  

According to Lauren, this when the simulation practice paid off for her.  The nurse working that night was asking "what intubation meds do you want?" and "what size ET tube do you want?"  

For a brief moment Lauren froze, she realized he was a little too big for the Broselow tape, but too small to be treated as an adult. Using a peds quick reference card to quickly look up doses, she gave him Roc and Etomidate.  Lauren remembered the formula for ETT from using it constantly in the sim lab at Drexel and set up a 6.5 sized ETT tube.

Right as she was about to intubate him he had some decerebrate posturing.  Luckily, the intubation went smoothly and the medical team immediately started cooling him.  Lauren started him on a Versed drip and had to keep re-paralyzing him with Roc to prevent shivering.  A helicopter then took Elijah to a local Children's hospital where he remained in a coma for eight days. 

Finally, a day before his 10th birthday he awoke with out deficits and began the road to full recovery.  Elijah was released from the hospital on October 20th, two days later he came with his family to the Temecula Valley Hospital to thank Lauren and the rest of the medical team for their life saving work.

Lauren was able to attend Elijah first little league game after the accident and witnessed him score four runs that contributed to a 14-1 win for his team.  This was not only a victory on the field but a victory for Elijah and his family, the medical team at Temecula Valley Hospital, and for the Drexel Sim Team.   

Lauren sent a thank you message to members of the Drexel Sim Team expressing how much of an impact her time practicing codes in the Sim Lab made on her professional career. 

"I couldn't have done any of this as quickly and confidently if it hadn't been for the mega-codes and mock pediatric codes we did over and over in sim lab. Thank you for making me a better doctor and helping me save this kid's life!"- Lauren Donnelly, MD
That message from Lauren and the successful recovery of Elijah is a true estimate of how much of an impact simulation makes on medical education.  Without the hours in the sim lab this story may have ended very differently.  

To learn more about Elijah's story please visit his Facebook page Pray For Elijah Belden

Monday, October 27, 2014

First Ever Practicum Week of the MSMS Program was a True Success

The Inaugural Class of the MSMS Program, from left to right -  Matthew Charnetski, Deisy Mercado, MD, Jessica Parsons, MD, Susan Coffey Zern, MD, Elizabeth Horsley, RN and Bettina Schmitz, MD.

Imagine sitting through a week of nine-hour days, filled with intense lectures, discussions and group projects.  Most students would be eager finish and go home to their friends and family. However, at 5 PM on Friday our students were still in class not ready to leave. All were expressing how they wish the next practicum week was just around the corner.
"Quite simply, this was by far the best, most outstanding education or professional event of my career," said Elizabeth Horsley, RN MEd from Ontario, Canada.
"The on campus sim practicum week was amazing and mind blowing. Outstanding faculty and staff." said  Bettina Schmitz, MD from Texas. 
Their actions and kind words were a true showing of the success of our first practicum week of the MS in Medical and Healthcare Simulation program.

This was the first of three Simulation Laboratory Practicum courses required for the MSMS degree at Drexel University College of Medicine’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.  The remainder of the program is held completely online focusing on the many facets of simulation-based medical education while simultaneously providing students with multiple options to pursue related areas of interest upon graduation. This first week gave a broad overall look at the many areas of medical simulation that exist today. The students were introduced to both high and low fidelity forms of simulation, the costs involved and what simulation scenario best fits the educational needs. 

Beyond the actual simulation there was a heavy focus on writing goals and objectives, developing scenarios and cases, along with plenty of discussion on debriefing and evaluation. 

The students were asked to take what they learned and create full scenarios that included goals and objects and a full debriefing session. The students then presented their projects on Friday and received instant group feedback. 
One of the unique features of the MSMS program at Drexel is the heavy focus on being interprofessional and the projects were required to have a variety of professional roles.  Due to the fact that the students come from different backgrounds, including medical doctors, nursing and EMT, they were able to better understand why interprofessional simulation and communication is so important in medical education. 

The next practicum week for this co-hort is set for September 2015 followed by a week in the Spring 2016 semester.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inaugral Class of the MSMS Program Begin Their First In-Person Practicum Week

Today we welcomed our inaugural class of the MSMS program to our Center City Campus at Drexel University for their first of three practicum weeks.  Our students of varying professions traveled to Philadelphia from all around the United States and even as far as Canada.  We are beyond happy to have them join us here on campus, to not only teach them, but to learn from their own experiences in medical and healthcare simulation.

This morning, the students were immediately thrown into a mass simulation scenario of a fallen in ceiling.  The simulation included a SimMan 3G, SimNewB, Megacode Kid and one standardized patient.  Students, who met for the first time just minutes beforehand, acted quickly to form a team to assess the situation and provide care. 

In the afternoon they were introduced to various modalities of simulators and asked to evaluate how they could be used for different levels of learners.  The information they learn throughout the week, along with what they learned in the first half of the semester will be demonstrated in their group projects to be presented this Friday. 

With such a great group of students we are looking forward to the rest of the week and seeing their final projects at the end of the week.