Simulation Troubleshooting Tips

You can spend a lot of time Preparing for a Simulation, but even when you think you have everything covered; there can be equipment malfunctions or other issues that occur.

Here are troubleshooting tips courtesy of our simulation specialists!

Manikin Malfunctions

Air Compressor showing valve is open.

Air Compressor showing valve is open.

Manikins are complex pieces of equipment. With more different functions, there’s more of a chance for something to malfunction.

Case 1: If the manikin’s chest is not rising, here are some possible causes:

  1. Link box is turned off or disconnected
  2. Air regulator is not turned on and/or someone turned the valve to open
  3. There is a popped lung

Case 2: SimMan program not providing feedback on manual ventilations, both with and without advanced airway insertion. Here are some possible causes:

  1. Cricothyroid tape under neck skin of manikin

    Cricothyroid tape under neck skin of manikin

    Trachea inside manikin is disconnected

  2. There is a puncture in the lung.
  3. Link box is turned off or disconnected
  4. Endotracheal tube has been placed improperly
  5. Endotracheal tube has a faulty cuff or was not inflated
  6. There is an air leak under neck skin due to cricothyroid tape being spliced

Monitor Not Displaying Vitals

While preparing for and running a simulation, not only do you have to worry about the manikin, sometimes the audio-visual support equipment made not be working correctly.

If you’ve logged into the Laerdal software, here are some possible causes for if your monitor is not coming on the screen, the first step is to make sure all of the cables are plugged in on both the monitor and the computer.

Next, ensure that you have extended your desktop to the second monitor. If you have extended desktop but still the monitor has not appeared, try closing the software and then getting back in. You must always extend prior to starting the program.

Tips for Recovering

Nurse working with baby manikinThe use of a confederate in the room is a great way to aid in the recovery of an error. If you use a one-way microphone system, you can have them either fix or check something without the simulation specialist having to go into the room.

For example, if the manikin is not breathing, a confederate could easily look at the air compressor to see if the valve is open or shut.

If you have multiple simulation specialists or staff, you can have them enter the room and act as extra nursing staff. This enables them to also help with an issue that arose in the room, like a clamped drain bag or misuse of a piece of equipment.

For example, in the past we have sent staff into simulations to aid in switching a LP20 from AED mode into manual mode and they were considered as extra nursing staff that was pulled to help with the situation in the room.

If there is an issue with a manikin, you can hookup another computer to the vitals monitor and try and restart the computer to see if that helps.

Our SimMan 3G will sometimes show air in the stomach when breathing on his own. If this happens, we have to logout and log back into the instructor application. This fixes the problem.

Post Event

Finally, after everything is over, some of the most important steps happen after the event or simulation is over.

To keep everything in optimal condition, clean all of the equipment so that it’s ready for its next use. Remember to put things back in place, which helps ensure that it doesn’t get misplaced or damaged. Finally, restock when low on supplies, to ensure you’re prepared for the next simulation – you’ll thank yourself later!

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