Robot helps staff train in newborn care

Neonatal staff at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are using a £15,000 robot baby to improve the care they give to young patients. The High Fidelity Neonatal Simulator, known as SimNewB, was designed by Laerdal and looks like a newborn in shape and size. It breathes with a moving chest, has a simulated heart and pulse, can move its arms and legs and even simulate a fit, and can turn blue, hiccup and grunt. When training, healthcare workers can link the robot to real monitors and insert a breathing tube. The infant even has its own umbilical cord. The hospital's neonatal intensive care unit manager, Chris Brandon-Cox, said: "It is an amazing piece of equipment that allows us to very realistically simulate emergency situations. In real life these situations are quite rare, so staff tend to have relatively little experience of them. Having the SIM baby means we will be able to train our 51 neonatal nurses and 25 doctors in these emergency techniques in a very controlled way."