This week I was invited by Kay Nims from the Nellis Air Force Base Simulation training program to witness a demo of the Human Worn Partial Task Surgical Simulator, or CUT SUIT, by Strategic Operations.

The CUT SUIT, is a experiential immersive learning service provided by Strategic Operations wherein a medically trained acting professional wears a moulage suit over chest, torso and limbs in-order to present a live-victim engagement.

During the demonstration and with Las Vegas based Thunderbirds flying overhead, a mock IED explosion rocked the audience to attention as a soldier stumbled from behind the vehicle, simulating massive limb bleeding, blocked airway, traumatic brain injury and shock. In all honesty, the realism of seeing a professional actor beg the paramedic to "save his leg" gave me goosebumps.

What is really unique about the CUT SUIT, is the ability of medical response teams to deal with realistic wounds on a live patient in real time. Imagine the benefit involved with creating a realistic military or trauma scenario and actually be able to have learners make surgical cricothyroidotomy cuts into a live patient while under fire.

Features Unique to the Cut Suit:

  • The system can be worn during intensely physical scenarios at the POI
  • The system weighs approximately 30 lbs (approximately equivalent to a current defense issued, fully-loaded individual body armor)
  • Body armor, uniform, clothing and equipment is not only don-able over the system but usable
  • The system allows for interaction with a live patient during the emergency assessment and treatment process
  • The skin and organs are user repairable, allowing for multiple uses per unit (well beyond fifty repairs to fully lacerated skin)
  • Interchangeable organs, variable rate beating heart and variable blood flow
  • Wounds created by the user
  • Breakable and repairable bones – ribs and sternum

While the cut suit seems large, it only weighs 30 lbs and can be worn for extended periods of time by the actor. Because of the danger involved with cutting open simulated skin, Strategic Operations does not sell the cut suit as a product, but rather a SERVICE in-which a trained ATLS professional actor must be scheduled in-order that the limitations of such a suit can be maximized by your learner group.

Medical Procedures Currently Available on the Cut Suit:

  • Extremity tourniquet application and hemorrhage control
  • Extremity arterial hemorrhage clamping
  • Needle and surgical cricothyroidotomy
  • Bilateral chest needle thoracentesis
  • Surgical chest tube thoracotomy
  • Surgical incisions to the thoracic and abdominal cavity with venous bleeding
  • Thoracotomy and intra-thoracic exploration and hemorrhage control of gross organ structures
  • Laporotomy and intra-abdominal exploration and hemorrhage control of gross organ structures
  • Suturing or stapling of gross organs and skin in all locations
  • Urinary catheterization and bladder tap
  • Peripheral IV access