Operative Experience, Inc. (OEI) will introduce the first medical simulator to integrate all 13 Prolonged Combat Casualty Care (PCCC) training modules in one high-fidelity trainer.
The company’s Prolonged Casualty Care Simulator Pro (PCCS Pro) will be the only mannequin simulator available on the market that meets all guidelines established by the PCC Work Group for casualty management over a prolonged amount of time in austere, remote or expeditionary settings, and/or during long-distance movements. It also features OEI’s modular “Smart Limb” technology with interchangeable limbs and wounds – instantly enabling trainees to create different injury profiles.
The simulator’s technology uses real-time feedback to enhance learning. A smart tablet queues up human reactions based on the type and success of care a trainee administers. Wounds stop bleeding and airways open to signal treatment was successful. Fully modular limbs and wounds allow for rapid changes in casualty scenarios.
“From the feel of the skin to the individually blinking eyes, every detail is pure realism,” said Lou Oberndorf, OEI chairman and CEO. “PCCS Pro is the most realistic, most comprehensive casualty care experience a service member can have, short of being in the actual situation. That level of preparedness will save lives.”
PCCS Pro will be available in male and female models with varying skin tones and features to better represent today’s service members. OEI was the first company to produce a completely anatomically correct female simulator for use in casualty care training in 2022 with the introduction of its Tactical Casualty Care Simulator Pro (TCCS Pro), the backbone of the new PCCS Pro.
Female mannequins designed for both the PCCS Pro and the TCCS Pro are solely based on female anatomy, which is important for trainees in multiple scenarios, such as chest needle decompression. The ability to train accurately is essential to saving lives and contributes to improved success rates on and off the battlefield.
Currently, “female” mannequins used by the Department of Defense (DoD) are male models using overlays of female anatomy. The modifications do not realistically represent women’s anatomy, body weight or proportions.
That deficiency produces a negative training experience and ultimately lowers chances of survival for female service members. Critical injuries to the chest area are often missed because of hesitancy by other soldiers to completely expose female patients.
OEI modeled its design using data compiled about service women by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, female service members were 20% more likely to die from their wounds than their male counterparts, according to a study published by National Institute of Health. That difference topped 100%, during Operation Enduring Freedom, based on the same study.
“Today’s military is increasingly more diverse,“ said Oberndorf. “Women make up nearly a quarter of our forces. Our simulators do a better job of bridging that gap.”
OEI’s PCCS Pro comes on the heels of its successful introduction of TCCS, currently in widespread use domestically and overseas by all branches of the armed forces. TCCS meets all Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines for the leading causes of death in combat. PCCS Pro extends those guidelines to prolonged casualty care, known by the acronym MARC2H3-PAWS-L, which stands for massive hemorrhage, airway respirations, circulation, communication, hypothermia/ hyperthermia, head injury (traumatic brain injury), pain control, antibiotics, wounds (+nursing/burns), splinting and logistics.
OEI will showcase PCCS Pro at the upcoming Nurse Practice Oversight Course & Expo in Orlando on 12 April 2023.
OEI developed both simulators through its internal research and development funds and under a Small Business Innovation Research grant created to engage vendors in building a better patient simulator solution for DoD.
Leaders at the entrepreneurial company knew advances in technology in other fields could revolutionize the way simulators were built and deployed, so they set out to design a modern, highly flexible and adaptable technology that is capable of growing as needs change. The simulator chassis is flexible enough to add training modules as guidelines are added or changed. That flexibility in a single training tool capable of meeting all PCCC guidelines offers longevity in a simulator that will save lives and reduce costs.
DoD requires all field service members – more than one million people – to obtain some level of training for casualty care.