Yorkshire Air Ambulance unveils new advanced thoracotomy trainer

Yorkshire Air Ambulance secured grant funding for a Pro Simbodies Thoracotomy Trainer, which will help their crew practice the complex procedures that they carry out on-scene at many of their incidents.

The grant to purchase the manikin was generously awarded by the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust and the Tesco Bags of Help grant scheme, generated from the sale of reusable bags in store.

The thoracotomy trainer is a repairable and operable manikin that can be sutured back together to practice thoracotomies. A thoracotomy is an emergency surgical procedure and can be performed by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Team at the roadside. It provides adequate exposure of the heart and lower chest area to drain blood from around the heart, predominantly required as a result of penetrating chest trauma or blunt trauma where a blockage is suspected.

The thoracotomy trainer is the latest addition to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s suite of manikins. The Simbodies are anatomically correct, life casts to give them the look and feel of a real person. They enable members of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance team to practice complex procedures without the risk to patients, in a safe training environment.

The Simulation suite, where they use the manikins, is a fully immersive training room that can be adapted to replicate various real-life trauma situations.  It features 360 degree projectable walls, a scent dispersal machine and is temperature-controlled. The simulation suite not only tests the paramedics’ clinical skills, but it also tests their sensory system, to replicate what might happen on a call out.

Matthew Syrat, Clinical Operations Manager for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: “Our new Thoracotomy trainer will enable the team to practice not only the physical method of the procedure but will also allow us to manage the sensitive human factors that often surround it. This is a relatively rare procedure, and this makes it incredibly important that we all know what our roles will be during the real-life event. We cannot thank the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust, along with Tesco Bags of Help, enough for their generous help to allow us the opportunity to purchase this manikin for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.”

Derek Noble, the Jack Brunton Charitable Trust Chairman commented: “We are delighted to support this latest life-saving project by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The Jack Brunton Charitable Trust has supported the Charity for many years, in recognition of the vital service it provides to rural communities across North Yorkshire. We hope that this new training equipment will help the Critical Care Team save even more lives across the region.”

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) serves 5 million people across Yorkshire and carries out over 1,500 missions every year. The Charity operates two, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to

raise £12,000 to keep these two air ambulances maintained and flying over Yorkshire, saving lives every day.