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Simulation project focuses on severe infections

Emergency patients arriving at hospital with severe infections was the focus of a simulation and human factors project run in Bristol.

Severe infections, known as sepsis, are one of the most common reasons for people to be admitted to hospital but may also develop after operations. They include conditions such as meningitis and pneumonia.

Simulation Lead Robert McGuinness, an experienced intensive care nurse, at North Bristol NHS Trust worked with HEE to deliver a training programme that looked at helping to ensure swift recognition together with appropriate management and treatment of this condition in the hospital’s emergency zone.

Sepsis results in many thousands of deaths each year but quick diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help improve the chance of survival.

Robert worked through simulated scenarios with multi professional teams of between three and four staff on average, including doctors, nurses, and health care assistants.

Around 80 members of staff took part in the training during the five-month project. These training sessions involved a full-body mannequin that was set up in an actual ward bed to make it feel as close to the real thing as possible.

Robert said: “We tried to make it as real as possible putting the patient in a hospital bed and making staff use their own equipment.”

During the half hour training sessions the teams were given situations that they were required to manage. These included a patient with breathing difficulties who had been referred by a GP for feeling “unwell” and a patient with a dog bite.

The teams had to identify the patients had developed a severe infection and provide appropriate treatment. The “live” part of the training session was followed by a debrief afterwards where the team could discuss the case and reflect on what went well and what could be improved.

Robert added: “Everyone seemed to take something different from the simulation training. The doctors and senior nurses focused on leadership skills and managing a team, some found it useful to learn about the process of the disease and for others it was about building trust.”

This Page was last updated on: 6 July 2016

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