neosim AG launched its highly realistic baby lung simulator LuSi for the training of intensive care staff. The silicone body has been painted to look like a real patient and covers high-tech machinery: an artificial lung that is computerized and loaded with sensors to simulate the lung function of a premature baby. In contrast to existing simulators, LuSi reacts autonomously to treatments like oxygen or other forms of respiratory support.

LuSi's lungs fill and empty with actual air, and oxygen, volume and pressure inside the lungs are measured. The lungs can be made atelectatic or recruited, airways can be made to be open or obstructed, and spontaneous breathing in many forms can be realised. The resulting alveolar ventilation drives the physiological models built into LuSi, which in turn determine blood gases and heart lung interaction. The results of these calculations are made visible to the learner through the built-in vital signs monitor in real time.

LuSi can be treated with most respiratory support devices including high-flow oxygen therapy, nasal CPAP or invasive ventilation. A dedicated vital signs monitor provides real-time curves and data including pre-ductal and post-ductal pulse oximetry, respiratory impedance measurement with ECG, transcutaneous PCO2, and even end-tidal CO2 measurement. The vital signs monitor is configurable so that it can be set to look like most devices on the market.

Since LuSi is autonomous and guaranties a consistent outcome, there is no need for operator interaction or an expert to tweak the vital signs A single trainer can perform the simulation training. Selecting a pathology is enough to create a case – and respiratory therapy can be applied as-if LuSi would be a real patient. LuSi will react in real-time and create vital signs, which can be used to guide therapy by the learner until she/he accepts and declares successful treatment. Since pertinent data is stored, debriefing can be done any time after the simulation.

Such new approaches will enable staff to train on-site using the actual respiratory care equipment of the unit and complete the training at any time.