$9m donation for dummies
Starship children’s hospital will be rolling out a fleet of ultralifelike manikins to train health professionals nation-wide thanks to its largest-ever donation.
The manikins can cry, scream, have seizures and go into cardiac arrest – simulating real emergencies and offering medical professionals invaluable training.
The programme will be bankrolled by a $9 million donation from the Douglas Charitable Trust, which was officially received yesterday.
Starship Foundation chief executive Aisha Daji Punga said the donation was unprecedented.
The six dummies represent children ranging in age from a newborn baby to a 14-year-old.
On Tuesday, Starship doctors put one of the manikins, a ‘‘7-year-old boy named Tom’’, to the test. The manikin was configured to represent him having been hit by a car, and he had a shattered left femur and a bad knock to the head.
Remotely controlled from a computer tablet nearby, his body reacted to treatment with unnerving realism. He groaned in pain and his heart rate increased.
Over about 30 minutes, ‘‘Tom’’ was intubated, given a blood transfusion and morphine.
Trish Wood, the simulation programme manager, said the training was vital practice for real emergencies.
‘‘He’s a high-fidelity manikin, so he has a voice, pulse and chest wall movements so it looks like he’s breathing. That really helps our teams to suspend disbelief and engage with Tom as if he was a real patient.’’
The $9m donation meant the programme could be rolled out to DHBs across the nation, to benefit children all over New Zealand.
Douglas Pharmaceuticals managing director Jeff Douglas said the donation came from a long-standing admiration of the work done by the teams at Starship.
‘‘My parents have been longtime supporters; my late father in particular would have fully endorsed and been delighted to financially back this remarkable advance in technology.’’
The Douglas family is a longtime supporter of Starship children’s hospital, with a history of giving spanning 23 years.
Punga said the Douglas family was ‘‘true philanthropists’’.
‘‘They have provided an unprecedented legacy to Starship.
‘‘We can’t thank them enough for this truly exceptional gift and their outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s children.’’
Specialist A&E nurses at Auckland’s Starship children’s hospital perform a simulated drill on an injured manikin as part of their training in preparation for the real thing.