Equipment funded by HeartSWell enables simulated cardiology training at Derriford Hospital

Sim Sim A new piece of equipment has been donated to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Derriford Hospital by local charity, HeartSWell.

The Echocardiography simulator will be able to mimic an echocardiogram, or, echo, which is a test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart. The pictures show the size and shape of your heart and also show how well the heart's chambers and valves are working. University Hospitals Plymouth is one of only a few hospitals in the country to own an Echocardiography simulator.

The simulator will allow registrars and clinical fellows to learn the skills necessary to diagnose critical situations in intensive care or in theatre. Without the use of a simulator, trainees would only be able to gain this experience when complications arise in intensive care or during surgery.

During simulation, users will be able to mock up scenarios so that clinical teams can develop the necessary skills in a controlled environment. Preparing for time-critical situations has formed part of CICU training sessions for a number of years, led by James Cole, cardiac anaesthetist, and the training team.

Cardiothoracic anaesthetist, Mark Bennett, said: “HeartSWell are a local charity who work closely with University Hospitals Plymouth to support the development and advancement of care and treatment. In recent years, the charity has funded a new catheter lab along with state of the art equipment.

“We are extremely grateful to HeartSWell for their donation of this high fidelity echo-simulator. The simulator will allow us to learn the techniques of both trans-oesophageal and transthoracic echo in our new sim-suite in the intensive care unit.

“This will have a long term benefit for patients as registrars and clinical fellows have the opportunity to train to manage complications, without waiting for these to potentially arise in surgery.”

Today, as part of ‘Restart a Heart Day’, Liz Harding and Rachel Rainbird from HeartSWell and Senior Resus Officer, Sarah Dormer, will be demonstrating CPR and defibrillation on Level 7, near Warrens restaurant from 10am until 1pm.



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