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Society Training Lead Beth Williams (middle) runs a scenario in which an unconscious and non-breathing patient is resuscitated. All persons photographed belonged to the same household, so social distancing was not enforced for this activity.

New CPR manikin for the Exeter University First Aid Society thanks to alumni support

Thousands of alumni and supporters of the University of Exeter help current students through generous donations to the Alumni Annual Fund, by giving gifts of time or money in order to enhance the student experience.

The Alumni Annual Fund supports projects that demonstrate that they will enhance the experience across the wider student community, benefitting current and future generations and making Exeter an even better place to live and study.

A wide range of projects are supported every year which includes student societies such as the Exeter University First Aid Society who in the 2020-21 round received funding to purchase an advanced RescuiAnne CPR manikin for their group.

Before this purchase, the group had CPR manikins that featured a standard head and chest without any legs or arms. These were sufficient for practicing CPR and had some limited airway functionality. This new piece of equipment has many more features that enable more detailed scenarios and provide for more realistic teaching.

Some examples include:

  • The extra limbs enable a number of enhancements to scenarios:
    • Manual handling training; the extra limbs open up the possibility of practising how to move a person onto a stretcher, or into the recovery position, or how to position someone who has fainted
    • Better demonstration of the ‘head-to-toe’ survey including demonstration of how to properly examine someone’s arms and legs
    • A more realistic spatial experience of treating a patient, including having to be mindful about positioning of different first aiders and not stepping on legs
  • Inflatable circulatory system; the manikin features a pump that then simulates the feeling of a pulse in anatomically correct locations such as the wrist and neck, enabling students to practise finding these pulses
  • Replaceable pupils; allowing for the incorporation of dilated/constricted pupils into the scenario, which is an important symptom to recognize in some cases such as drug intoxication

In some of the above cases, e.g. moving a patient onto a stretcher, before the society purchased this equipment they would normally perform a demonstration using a volunteer from the committee (or a particularly eager attendee). This now raises safety concerns due to COVID, and so the purchase of this equipment enables the group to continue to perform these demonstrations in a much safer way.

Society Training Lead, Beth Williams, had this to say about the equipment: “We were fortunate enough to be able to use the QCPR doll in our Festival of Discovery training sessions this year. It provided society members an amazing opportunity to practice the first aid skills that they had been learning all throughout the year in a closer to life scenario than we've been able to provide before due to the doll.”

The purchase of these pieces of equipment further enable the society’s core mission of teaching vital first aid skills in a practical and fun environment. The society’s treasurer, Jay Malhotra, says: “As a society that has an educational focus, we are mindful of the fact that students will not want to spend most of their day in lecture theatres, only to attend a recreational society event and essentially be given another lecture for an hour. For this reason, we always try to incorporate practical scenarios that allow society members to practise and improve their skills. The purchase of this equipment helps us better educate the student community about first aid by increasing the practical emphasis of our sessions.

“Increasing the knowledge of first aid throughout the community has a number of benefits. There is the direct benefit felt if an emergency within the community is attended by someone with first aid training and the outcome of that situation is improved as a result (e.g. performing CPR after a certain type of cardiac arrest can more than double the chances of a patient’s survival - citation, see pg 11). In addition to that, we believe that teaching first aid skills provides other transferable skills that benefit the community, such as compassion for others and awareness of important medical and health issues.”

The Exeter University First Aid Society and committee members would like to extend their thanks to the Alumni Annual fund, and all alumni and supporters of the University who have donated to it and made the purchase possible.


Date: 1 July 2021

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