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TraumaMan Offers Lifelike Practice for Med Students

TraumaMan is one of various high-tech simulators currently being used in medical training.
Nell Boyce, NPR
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TraumaMan is one of various high-tech simulators currently being used in medical training.

TraumaMan should be called TorsoMan. He's a headless, legless, armless torso with nipples and a belly button. His ribs bulge beneath pink, rubbery skin. The chest rises and falls with each mechanical breath.

But cut TraumaMan, and does he not bleed? Well, yes -- or at least, he delivers a "blood flow response" when cut by a scalpel. A synthetic device manufactured by the Seattle-based Simulab, TraumaMan is being used to help surgeons-in-training master emergency skills.

The realism of sophisticated simulators doesn't come cheap: The best go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. TraumaMan runs just a few thousand -- but replacement parts cost extra.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.