Maine EMS is using virtual reality headsets as a training method to recognize severe illnesses in infants and children, said Shannon Moss, Public Information Officer, Maine Department of Public Safety.

The headsets will be a way for technicians to practice life-saving skills and apply the training to real life situations.

The virtual reality headsets are being funded by a grant to purchase Health Scholars Pediatric Emergency Assessment™ VR. In the training, EMS clinicians and hospital personnel work in a virtual reality that mimics a real life emergency. They must determine the best care in the virtual situation by giving voice commands. Participants are put in scenarios to properly assess emergencies involving infants and children.

Marc Minkler, Maine EMS for Children Program Manager said, “Pediatric patients represent some of our most fragile population. Using virtual reality allows EMS and hospital providers across the State of Maine to improve their decision-making process and treatment. We can simulate the appearance, environment and the stress of a sick child in a way never undertaken before, all to improve the ability of Emergency Services to care for child in an emergency.” 

On their Facebook page, the Main EMS said they have received 5 Oculus virtual reality headsets that operate very similar to a smartphone. The oculus is the device and the Health Scholars Pediatric Emergency Assessment™ VR is the app, said Maine EMS. The training will be available to Maine EMS services across the state of Maine.

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For more information, you can contact Marc Minkle at marc.a.minkler@maine.gov.

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