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Since 2005, KidSIM™ has trained thousands of healthcare professionals how to handle life-threatening medical emergencies by running mock trauma and resuscitation drills on sophisticated, life-like mannequins. Because they’re so realistic, these high-tech dolls can simulate breathing, pulses, blood pressure, as well as speech and sound so they can replicate a child’s response to illness, injury and treatment.

Five-year-old Hudson’s parents say he is alive today because of KidSIM™.

The community-funded, pediatric patient simulation training program based at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, saved his life.

On December 27, 2009 Donita and Vince welcomed their handsome little boy into their family. He was the perfect baby…slept and ate like a pro. But eight days later, Donita noticed that he seemed to tire very easily with his feedings and his colour seemed to be a little on the blue side. Vince and Donita followed their instincts and took Hudson to the emergency department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. This proved to be a lifesaving decision.

Within a short period of time, Hudson’s condition spiraled out of control to the point that he was in cardiac arrest. Doctors discovered that he had a narrowing of the aorta causing his heart to not function properly and putting him in grave danger.

“It’s like looking at a beehive with Hudson in middle and 14 people all around him with complete confidence working on him,” said Vince recalling watching the team giving his tiny son chest compressions.

“And they brought him back to life.”

Unbelievably, only two hours before Hudson arrived in emergency, twelve members of the acute care team had participated in a drill with KidSIM™ --  the hospital’s pediatric simulation training program -- in which they learned how to care for a newborn infant in cardiac arrest -- the same scenario as Hudson’s. The team uses high-tech dolls that are so life-like, they can actually simulate breathing, pulses, blood pressure, as well as speech and sound so they can replicate a child’s response to illness, injury and treatment. As part of the exercise, they reviewed the priorities of care, IV access, drug dosage and interactions…everything they would need to know when seconds counted.

Four of those team members who participated in the drill were then called upon to care for Hudson.

“It was as if we had just had a dress rehearsal,” one of the nurses said. “It helped us act quickly and I believe we were able to save his life because of what we learned.”

Hudson was airlifted to Edmonton for immediate open heart surgery and then returned for his recovery to the Alberta Children’s Hospital’s PICU.

Vince and Donita are so grateful for Hudson’s caregivers and community support for the program… that gave them their son.

“The only reason Hudson is alive today is because of KidSIM,” said Vince. “This training saved his life. I don’t know how much a KIDSIM mannequin costs, but Hudson’s life is worth more, and so is every other child’s life has been saved to date, and those who will be saved in the future.”

Thanks to community support, the KidSIM™ centre is now the largest hospital-based training lab in Canada.

The KidSIM™ team leads the nation with 10 high-tech mannequins, 80 specially-trained educators, and 3,500 learners each year.

Learn more about Life Saving Care at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

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