As Israeli soldiers prepared for a ground operation in Gaza, military paramedics and doctors knew that treating wounded soldiers with severe injuries would be inevitable. With reservist combat medics only receiving a small refresher course per year, and physicians called into reserves having no knowledge of trauma medicine, numerous struggles seemed to loom over the entire situation.
Ravid Segal, Chief Technology Officer at MSR, identified a resolution for this issue. He stated in an interview with The Times of Israel, “We put an ‘MSR on Wheels’ program into action. We packed up trailers with our high-tech task trainers and supplies and headed to the IDF staging areas on the border with Gaza.”
Located at Sheba Medical Center, MSR is a global leader in simulation-based medical education. Established by Prof. Amitai Ziv in 2001, the main objective behind MSR was to reduce medical errors, assure patient safety and improve healthcare providers in terms of medical and communicative practice.
For over two decades, the center has successfully utilized role-playing actors, sophisticated robotics and surgical simulators to provide Israel’s medical community, the military, as well as colleagues from around the globe with top-tier training. With the nation in a state of war, MSR has quite literally brought these tools to the frontlines of operation Iron Swords.
“We call this our ‘Just in Time’ initiative because we did this training next to Gaza on the day before the troops went in. It turned out to be perfect timing because the knowledge was fresh,” Segal said.
The training provided on the front focused on four key trauma medicine procedures. Staunching major bleeding; thoracostomy (placing a thin plastic tube between the chest wall and the lungs to extract excess fluid or air); intubation (inserting a breathing tube down a person’s throat); and tracheostomy (creating an incision in the throat to insert a breathing tube).
While MSR training is usually provided in a hospital setting within the confines of Sheba, this situation called for a unique set up. Three outdoor stations were constructed for soldiers to rotate through. For one hour, they practiced at each station and would then move onto the next. Using mannequins, they also set up a variety of scenarios depicting wartime injuries. Soldiers would move through the scene with haste and determine which injuries needed to be treated first.
As the soldiers bravely stepped into uncertain territory, the invaluable training provided by MSR ensured they were better equipped to face the challenges ahead. On a global scale, Sheba is delighted to offer its expertise and experience, providing comprehensive consultation and medical training to assist in the establishment and operation of a medical simulation center service.
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