In Toulouse, a simulation center to better prepare caregivers for disasters soon to be created, a first in the world

Home In Toulouse, a simulation center to better prepare caregivers for disasters soon to be created, a first in the world
Written by Doug Hampton

the essential
In June, the Toulouse University Hospital is launching the construction of an environmental and neurosensory simulation center to put its caregivers in situation, but also to treat patients who are victims of post-traumatic stress.

How to manage to manage the smell or the sight of the blood which takes to the guts when one intervenes on an attack? What reflexes to have when bad weather risks worsening the survival conditions of a road accident?

These questions or emotions are part of the daily life of emergency physicians who are often the first to intervene on the scene of a tragedy. But they are rarely prepared to face the smell of burnt hair or the sensations one can have when the earth moves around one. Only experience in the field teaches them how to manage these particular environments.

But from next year, they will have a completely innovative tool in Toulouse, which is certainly unique in the world. The Toulouse University Hospital will launch the construction in June of SENS, an environmental and neurosensory simulation center on its Purpan site.

In post-traumatic care

Within this 140 m2 dome, the hospital’s health professionals will be able to prepare themselves for all situations, whether that of an attack, war pathologies such as amputation, negative temperatures or even earthquakes. . So many factors that can be destabilizing and sources of disorganization.

In Toulouse, rescuers have already been plunged into such conditions during the AZF industrial disaster or the attacks of 2012. However, emergency and disaster medicine has “always been in the DNA of the CHU”, indicates the director General of Toulouse University Hospital, Jean-François Lefebvre.

“There has always been thinking, at the forefront of better organizing emergency medicine and being able to project oneself to the scene of an accident or disaster as best as possible. The teams are often exposed to difficult conditions, to tensions, thanks to SENS, they will be placed in a stressful situation to better overcome it”, assures the director of the CHU. Within this dome, where virtual reality will take its place, firefighters, soldiers or emergency workers from all over France and foreign countries will be able to come and train.

And the victims of these disasters try to repair themselves better. By exposing them to trauma they have already experienced, patients can work on it. This resource place can thus be used to offer neurosensory therapies.
Made from prefabricated modules, this 3.5 million euro center financed largely by Europe and the Occitanie region should be ready in early 2024 for its first simulations. Beatrice Collin

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