Our experience of simulation training on Arran

splogoIn September 2014 we took delivery of three Laerdal mannequins to support the work of emergency responder groups on the Isle of Arran.  These were funded by the kind support of the Sandpiper Trust.  Spurred on by the work of the TOPCAT study – identifying that quality early CPR, along with effective clinical teamwork and leadership results in considerable improvement in survival from cardiac arrest – we sought to provide an island based resource to allow professionals and the public to improve their resuscitation skills.

This project was named ‘caiRRn’ – the Cardiac Arrest Integrated Rural Responder Network.  You can read more about the project at http://www.cairrn.org.uk.

Or watch this presentation from Richard Lyon, one of the stalwart researchers at the Resuscitation Research Group in Edinburgh.  If you need any convincing that this is worthwhile work, just watch this.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published the document ‘Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest – A Strategy for Scotland‘.  We are particularly enthused that it gives several specific consideration to the challenges and opportunities of improving cardiac arrest survival in rural areas.


After discussing our caiRRn project proposal with the Sandpiper Trust, we received two Laerdal QCPR mannequins for focussed CPR practice with our First Responder groups, emergency teams and the wider public.  To date they have been used to help train over 100 members of the public on Arran, and feature regularly in the training of our three First Responder Groups.

We will report on our experience of these mannequins in a separate article.


We were also delighted to take delivery of a Resusci Anne Simulator for use with more qualified responders, particularly those who manage more complex arrest and peri-arrest scenarios as part of their voluntary or professional duties.  Over the last year, we have integrated its features into increasingly regular training – including GPs, hospital nurses, practice staff of Arran Medical Group and paramedics & technicians of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

It has been a steep learning curve, and after a year, we feel that it is now an integral part of regular training.  We have built simulation sessions into our weekly GP meetings; and we use the simulator on an ad-hoc basis when the hospital workload allows.  Our ambulance colleagues have found it particularly useful to practice scenarios as well as a teaching aid for trainee paramedics learning about patient assessment: breath sounds, heart sounds, advanced airway management and more.

We are grateful to the Sandpiper Trust for their considerable generosity in facilitating these resources to be available locally to Arran teams.  Already there are patients who have benefited from the training allowed – including some who have experienced and survived cardiac arrest on Arran.  We are keen to share the lessons learned, and have produced the following video clips as a way of doing this.

If you have any questions about our experience of the simulators, please contact us.  Dr David Hogg (GP) has been leading this project, and you can contact him at: david.hogg@nhs.net .

Conflicts of Interest: I am one of the Clinical Governance Leads at BASICS Scotland, which receives lots of support from the Sandpiper Trust.  I do not have any links with Laerdal, and I’m not on any commission! 


Why Simulation?

Tour of Features

What about defibrillation?

Tour continued…

Any tips?

A brief demonstration



One Response to Our experience of simulation training on Arran

  1. Tim Leeuwenburg July 31, 2015 at 1:25 am #

    Love your work…I would love to do the same on Kangaroo Island. You MUST come visit. Or I will swing by Arran on way to/from #smaccDUB