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Child-size mannequin: Hands-on training spares real patients
Date:5/16/2011

Rice University bioengineering students have modified a child-size training mannequin to give medical students hands-on pediatric experience so that real patients can be spared further stress and pain.

The students created Ped.IT, short for Pediatric Evaluation Device Intended for Training, as their senior design project at the request of doctors at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) who have long recognized the need for students to get hands-on experience in pediatrics without having to subject young patients to additional probing and exams.

"I've been trying since 2003 to develop a mannequin, but I didn't have the bioengineering skills," said Amy Middleman, a pediatrician at TCH and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), which funded the project. "For a long time I've wanted to be able to teach medical students physical exam skills without having to use patients who are not feeling well and whose parents really aren't comfortable with medical students coming in to examine them."

Having tried and failed to work with medical device manufacturers, Middleman found her way to Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) and its director, Maria Oden, a professor in the practice of engineering education.

Oden pitched the idea to student teams at the start of the fall semester. The four students who stepped up -- Kshitij Manchanda, Zachary Henderson, Minsuk Kwak and Michelle Thorson -- succeeded in modifying a stock medical training mannequin to TCH's specs, with help from their Rice adviser, Renata Ramos, a lecturer in bioengineering.

Ped.IT (which students have dubbed the "MiddleMannequin" in honor of their mentor) began as a hard-shell mannequin donated by a manufacturer, Laerdal. The team replaced the neck and midriff areas of the plastic with simulated skin and added the simulated liver and spleen, that TCH requested. The students went beyond the call of duty by adding simulated lymph nodes, and th
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Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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