• The Surgical Advanced Mannequin [SAM] can ‘breathe’ and be pumped with ‘blood’.
  • The mannequin that can simulate casualties was developed in the UK through Defence funding.
  • Used for the first time on a military medical training exercise to help ensure that personnel are ready to deploy when needed. 

Military surgical teams took part in a ground-break trauma casualty exercise at the Army Medical Services Training Centre. The exercise involved trauma casualty actors and the use of a surgical advance mannequin called SAM.
Surgical teams performed a series of operations on a trauma casualty simulation model developed by a team from Swansea University.
The exercise and the world leading Surgical Advanced Mannequin [SAM] tested the readiness of the UK Armed Forces medical teams to deploy and operate in austere environments- combat or humanitarian around the world.
Doctors, nurses, anaesthetics, and operating department practitioner [ODP] were put through their paces during a training exercise that simulates a combat casualty situation. The patient, SAM, was assessed, triaged, treated and surgically operated on.
The exercise ensures medical personnel keep their skills honed in an operational environment and represents a cutting-edge addition to the Army Medical Services Training Centre [AMSTC] training programme.
The entire Medical Treatment Facility provided care to SAM during the exercise. SAM’s lifelike appearance, combined with its sophisticated internal systems, offers a level of immersion that was previously unattainable. Trainees had the opportunity to practice surgical procedures and medical interventions on SAM, simulating real-life scenarios with unprecedented realism. The addition of SAM to AMSTC’s repertoire is particularly important in the context of collective training for Medical Treatment Facilities.
SAM’s lifelike representation of a patient’s anatomy, along with its ability to mimic various medical conditions and complications, will enable trainees to hone their skills and decision-making abilities under realistic conditions.

A cutting-edge trauma casualty simulation mannequin, invented and developed by a UK clinician and funded by the Ministry of Defence, has been used for the first time in a full-scale field hospital training exercise. 

Invented and developed by civilian orthopaedic major trauma surgeon Professor Ian Pallister; the Surgical Advanced Mannequin [SAM model] is a world-leading training simulation model which can be inserted with different injury patterns such as blast wounds and gunshots. It can also ‘breathe’ and be pumped with ‘blood’ to simulate bleeding.

The innovative mannequin, refined over a ten-year development period, has enabled Armed Forces medical teams to participate in a highly realistic level of training on a clinical exercise run by the Army Medical Services Training Centre (AMSTC). 

Earlier versions of the SAM model have also been used to train Ukrainian military surgeons. 

Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison, who is a doctor in the Reserves, said:  

“These world-class training models are an excellent demonstration of the type of innovative equipment produced by UK defence and our industry partners. They play a vital part in delivering cutting-edge training to both our Ukrainian allies and our exemplary military medical and surgical teams in the UK, helping to ensure they continue to be the very best at what they do.”

Professor Pallister developed the SAM model using CT scans and 3D-printed masters of specific wounds such as a gunshot or pelvic injury. His latest version of the model can be intubated, have dead ‘tissue’ removed, and be used for exploratory surgery.

Professor Ian Pallister said: 

“SAM models, which have been taken on board Royal Navy ships and deployed in land environments, are the product of years of constant redesign and redevelopment and these evolving innovations would not have been possible without the close cooperation of Defence Medical Service colleagues and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory [DSTL].”

Image: MOD Crown Copyright 2023

Clinical Adviser for Deployed Hospital Care, Army Medical Services Training, Colonel Jonny Round said:  

“Traditionally at AMSTC, we’ve used a live casualty actor with some make-up to deliver a list of symptoms and injuries. Professor Pallister’s model simulates, very realistically, combat wounds requiring surgical intervention. 

“The surgeons get to operate, and the entire team train in a field hospital that replicates the one they will find themselves deployed to. We are immensely proud that through this training we can deliver world class medical teams to operations.”

Held at the Army Medical Services Training Centre [AMSTC], 45 medical personnel took part in the recent exercise including medical technicians, nurses, anaesthetists, emergency medicine doctors and surgeons. The field hospital that was assembled featured an emergency department, a surgical theatre, intensive care wards, laboratory, and radiology departments. 

Trauma Simulation Ltd is a Swansea University spin-out created by Professor Ian Pallister specifically to enhance the development of the limb trauma training models produced in prototype form in the course of the MSc Trauma Surgery Programme. The current goals are specifically to enhance the trauma training experience available without resorting to animal or human cadaveric material.

This latest news comes in addition to the announcement of the second National Armed Forces & Emergency Services Event to take place on Thursday May 16, 2024 at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. 

The event celebrates the crossover of forces and blue light services, with the first event being held this year to great success. The event includes an Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Club (which is open to serving personnel and veterans of the emergency services as well as armed forces), an exhibition, speakers and more. 

The NAFESE event series also incorporates the 2024 Services Awards, which celebrates the best in service from armed to emergency to volunteer in the 12 months previous. The 2024 Services Awards will take place on Thursday July, again at the Stadium of Light. 

Such has been the popularity of the events, the 2024 Services Sports Awards will also have its own ceremony and awards evening for the first time and this will take place in April 2024. 

For further information please see www.nafese2023.com