Johns Hopkins using lifelike robots to simulate medical emergencies

Posted at 7:34 AM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 07:34:15-04

Everyone knows practice makes perfect, but in the medical world you don't always get a second chance to save a life.

So Johns Hopkins Medicine is using lifelike robots to simulate emergencies.

Even when the patient is a robot, delivering a baby can be chaotic and stressful for doctors... especially when something goes wrong.

At Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical professionals are getting real world experience in a simulated setting.

The patients are plastic, but they're anything but lifeless.

"The mannequins can actually breathe and they can actually blink their eyes, they can speak. We can change their heart rate, we can change their blood pressure, their breathing rate," says Dr. Elizabeth Hunt, Director of Johns Hopkins Medicine Simulation Center.

The center tries to make simulations as authentic as possible, from the equipment to the conversations.

"The level of realism enables us to look at teamwork, look at communication factors, and engages the learner much more than when it was a static white room," Dr. Hunt says.

Mistakes are even encouraged in the hands-on moments.

"It's absolutely made me a better physician when I go out and treat my real patients," says Dr. Amy Manzo.

Resident Dr. Manzo is caring for a simulated four-day-old with a heart problem in the pediatric ICU.

"You know, if you make a mistake you know you're not actually going to hurt them. And you can take the lessons you learn here in the simulation center and apply them to your real patients," she says.

The Simulation Center at Johns Hopkins is the biggest facility of its kind in the country.