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iStan Lives

Amar Patel is the manager of the WakeMed Center for Innovative Learning.

iStan stabalized in the ICU of the Center for Innovative Learning.

You’re sitting in a conference watching yet another PowerPoint presentation when suddenly someone in the room collapses with a cardiac arrest.  This really happened yesterday to attendees at the Triangle Gaming Conference.

During our presentation yesterday Dr. Graham Snyder, medical director of the Center for Innovative Learning and emergency physician, and I were delivering a talk about Serious Gaming and medical education at the Triangle Gaming Conference when iStan, a patient simulator, unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest.  The emergency began.  I yelled for assistance asking for anyone who knew CPR to help the dying iStan.  Gamers just like you or me responded to the call for help.

Heart beats were racing. The audience waited with anticipation…is he going to live or will he die?  In the background you could hear audience members expressing concern, “I don’t want him to die.” 

While the scenario evolved, Dr. Snyder was able to successfully defibrillate the patient.  Our “first responders” breathed a sigh of relief as Stan came back to life.  I yelled, “He has a pulse.”  Dr. Snyder insisted on having an IV.  As our audience members were waiting with anticipation, I inserted an IV into iStan’s chest for direct medication delivery.  As a breathing tube was placed, Dr. Snyder instructed our participants on how to ventilate iStan.

In the end iStan lived! He was successfully brought back to life with the assistance of two students interested in developing educational games.   Their hearts raced, our hearts raced, and the audience’s hearts raced trying to understand whether this was real or a simulated teaching experience.  As soon as our two volunteers joined the scenario, they admitted to being lost in the experience – gaming at its best.

Over the hour, we were amazed at the variety of questions our audience members asked.  We covered health care education, the development of immersive learning, the financial impact of education, and how to get involved in simulation.  If this experience told our audience anything, it was that immersive learning and medical simulation is a SERIOUS GAME with serious consequences. 

We received so many questions that we decided to offer others the opportunity to participate in a live Twitter chat tomorrow at 1 pm hosted by @wakemed.  Log in, participate, and don’t forget to use #istanlives.