Mock car crash provides training opportunity

EUGENE, Ore. - Emergency responders headed to the scene of a serious car crash in Eugene Tuesday.

A single car crashed into a cement wall with a pregnant woman and her son inside. But it wasn't a real accident; it was all staged using actors and life-like dummies.

"Practice makes perfect, so this was an opportunity for us to test our response to a really complex trauma scenario with a mother and a baby," said PeaceHealth patient safety officer Dr. Stephanie Jackson.

Hosted by PeaceHealth, the trauma simulation uses actors and high-fidelity mannequins in a real-life event, from the crash site in Eugene, to the Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield.

"It's really a great opportunity for us to test our scenarios, teamwork, skill building, communications, all of the things that can go wrong," said Jackson.

The exercise gave EMTs, firefighters and hospital staff a chance to practice rare trauma events like it's the real thing.

"It's very realistic for the caregivers, they can place lines, do intubations on the patients, place airways, ah, test out everything."

In this case, the young boy was transported to RiverBend's emergency room, where nurses and doctor's determined he had a ruptured spleen.

"So that's why it was really important for us to test out not only our massive transfusion protocol when we have to give them lots of units of blood," said Jackson. "But in this case, to a pediatric patient, which is a little unique, it's not something we see every day."

She said they try to make the simulation as real as possible.

"Hundreds of hours of planning that goes into this so it's not something we do every day, but we like to do them as scenarios come up," she said. "We knew we'd made some improvements to our massive transfusion protocol so that's one of the reasons we wanted to test this particular scenario out."

Everything down to the mannequins is made to test the emergency workers.

"There is someone who is actually through a computer, controlling the heart rate of the fake patient, the mannequin makes sounds," said Jackson. "If they give a drug that's maybe not the right one for instance, then the heart rate might go down or the blood pressure might go down."