Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills
The Air Force’s Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS) program exemplifies how effective trauma training can be achieved by combined use of simulators, human cadavers, and civilian trauma centers.
At centers in St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Baltimore, C-STARS courses teach chest tube insertion using simulators, fasciotomy using cadavers, and a number of other procedures under supervision on live human patients who enter trauma centers with severe injuries.
Human-Based Training Methods
Since 2010, there has been a surge in new technologies for combat trauma training. We have included a number of the newer methods on this page, but there are many more.
Trauma F/X Simulators and Task Trainers
This is a line of rugged trauma training manikins built with state-of-the-art special effects technology. Jointly developed with the U.S. Army, the Multiple Amputation Trauma Trainer delivers high-fidelity simulations of lower body blast injuries commonly seen in combat. It can be deployed to any location and operated in nearly any weather condition. The AirwayPlus Lifecast Upper Torso Trainer (APL) is a ruggedized medical simulator that takes realism to the next level, helping trainees learn how to treat patients suffering from traumatic upper body injuries. The APL is covered in lifelike synthetic skin and includes a simulated rib cage and sternum.
Cut Suit Simulator
The Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator (known as the “Cut Suit”) is a training device worn by a human actor. It includes breakable bones, interchangeable organs, and variable blood flow. Wounds are created by the user, and the skin and other organs are repairable, allowing for multiple uses. The Cut Suit combines the sensation of working on live tissue with the realism of performing procedures on a conscious “casualty.” The Physicians Committee has brought this impressive device to Capitol Hill to show lawmakers what it can do.
Operative Experience Simulators
Operative Experience has created one of the world’s first physical simulators upon which major surgical hands-in-the-body operations can be performed using standard surgical instruments. Deploying medics are often ill-prepared for the rigors of combat casualty care and combat trauma surgery. “Critical differences between animal and human anatomy limit the value of animal models for training some essential point-of-injury and operative surgical techniques,” states Operative Experience founder Robert F. Buckman, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S. “These may be overcome by training based on high-fidelity physical simulators.”
Tactical Operations Manikin
The Tactical Operations Manikin is a rugged patient care simulator capable of repeatedly surviving tactical trauma training. It is designed to move like a human and simulate massive bleeding in a combat environment. Features include remote control, allowing the instructor to add surprise elements, such as talking, breathing, and bleeding; breath sounds that include sucking chest wounds; respiratory distress; massive bleeding; needle decompression; tourniquet application; wound packing; and a surgical airway.
Hemostatic Agents Simulated Tissue Trainer
This training device, which was developed with Department of Defense funding, features artificial blood that clots when the wound is packed correctly, giving the trainee the knowledge needed to properly treat a battlefield casualty. It is designed to train and evaluate the skills used for the control of blood loss with non-extremity and non-compressible hemorrhage.