Now medical dummies go plus size
Bigger training aids in obesity crisis
ROOKIE medics face practising on obese dummies – as Britain continues to battle an obesity crisis.
Trainees on medicine, nursing and pharmacy courses at Birmingham’s Aston University will be taught how to do CPR and insert lines on the ‘realistic’ female mannequin.
They will also learn how to handle larger patients and intubate them so that they can become ‘inclusive’ of overweight patients.
Such procedures can often be trickier in larger patients because a higher percentage of body fat makes veins more difficult to access.
Creators of the dummy – which has a built-in skeleton – hope it
‘They’ll learn how to be inclusive’
will teach students how to care for, and move, bigger patients with dignity.
Latest NHS data shows 26 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 38 per cent are overweight but not obese.
Typical dummies used in medical training are ‘little more than beanbags’, argue the team who made it.
It is dubbed R42, representing the 42 per cent of US adults who are overweight. Other larger mannequins are already used in medical training around the world.
But Aston University, which created the device with consultancy firm Simulation Man, claimed R42 was the first realistic one.
The first, female dummy will be installed at the university in December, with a second male one in early 2024.
Developers are also considering creating more figures reflecting Britain’s ethnic diversity.
Professor Liz Moores, deputy dean of Aston’s college of health and life sciences, said: ‘Lots of patients are overweight so it’s useful to have experience with overweight patients. As a female obese mannequin, this also has large breasts. We want students to know how to resuscitate people irrespective of body type.’
Jacob Rahman, of Simulation Man, added: ‘The key aspect is students will learn how to have empathy with obese patients, how to be inclusive, and to make sure they are aware of unconscious bias.’
Obesity costs the NHS £6.5billion a year as being overweight raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘Mannequins are absolutely essential in training today’s medical staff — or any staff who are required to move overweight people in either hospitals or in the community.’