Medical students at Comenius University are training with a unique obstetric patient simulator

Bratislava, 8 June 2016: Medical students at Comenius University are training with a unique obstetric patient simulator called Victoria. The Faculty of Medicine is just the second institution in Europe to actively use this type of simulator in its instruction.

Victoria is the newest member of the family of patient simulators at the Department of Simulation and Virtual Medical Education at the Faculty of Medicine. Victoria is actively put to use in the obstetrics and gynaecology teaching process in the practising of procedures concerning birth and caring for the mother and baby. “Within a given scenario, it is possible to set up any physiological or pathophysiological state for the mother, including pre- and post-natal complications, which can be combined with complications at birth, and thus bring about an emergency situation which future doctors could encounter in their working lives. The birth itself is very realistic thanks to the audio effects, the ability to fill the device with blood or urine, and the feature allowing the performance of a Caesarean section,” said Assoc. Prof. Pavol Vitovič, who is the head of the department.

In class the students deal with the simulator as if it was a real patient. They learn the whole process concerning patient admission – from determining the anamnesis, the undertaking of a basic examination (blood pressure, heart beat, and temperature), to external and vaginal examination.
The simulator allows students to use Leopold’s manoeuvres to determine the position of the foetus in the womb by practising on a palpation abdominal cover. The simulator is controlled by a touch-sensitive tablet where it is possible to set a wide range of parameters and programme various medical histories. “In this way, students can acquire practical skills which are important for caring for both the baby and the mother,” Vitovič explains.

In addition to the obstetric simulator, the department has four other patient simulators – two designed for adult care, one for paediatric care, and one for neo-natal care. These are wireless and computer-controlled medical manikins with a realistic anatomy and a fully programmable physiology. Medical students at the department also have the possibility to use passive trainers (i.e. torsos on which they can practise resuscitation), training arms for taking blood and inserting cannulas, an adult torso device to practise clearing the air passages in cases of suffocation by a foreign object, and other learning aids.  

“Medical simulation does not have the aim of replacing the clinic; its significance lies in its high added value as a learning tool. And it is thanks to this that medical students will be better prepared for working life,” said CU rector Prof. Karol Mičieta.