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Personal Experience Inspires the Development of NENASim

Our realistic training solutions are aimed at a wide range of healthcare professionals. Our manikins are developed with a high level of fidelity and utter care for realism. This particular attention for realism is inspired by a personal experience our CEO Dervis Demirtas had with his then-5-month-old son, which led eventually to the development of our realistic neonatal simulator NENASim.

“When my son, Dildar, was only five months old, he was administered the wrong medication at home. The medication was too strong for his body, all parts of his muscles turned stiff in a matter of minutes. When I got home, I found my son lying still on the ground. I called an ambulance and I paged my sister, who is also a doctor, for help.

The medication given to my son has never been given before to an infant. There was no clue on what to do in such situations. So my sister brought a team of researchers together from different parts of the world ( US, Japan..) to explore potential treatments and come up with a solution. Eventually, they were able to treat my son and his condition improved progressively.

Naturally, I was present during the whole process from the moment the ambulance came to my house to the dreadful minutes spent in the emergency room. I remember how shocked the paramedics were, seeing my son completely bent, eyes wide open and stiff as a statue.

When we made it to the emergency room, there was an obvious confusion and hesitation on the doctors’ part. They were examining my son, checking his vital signs, and measuring his blood pressure but nobody wanted to take any drastic action for which the consequences could be irreversible. With that in mind, my sister took the lead and made decisions really fast as every second mattered in this situation. Thankfully, they were able to save my son.

The situation was emotionally overwhelming to me as a father since my son’s life was at a stake but also thought-provoking to me as a healthcare simulation expert. I kept wondering ‘ What if this happened to someone else’s kid? What would be the chances of their survival? The outcome doesn’t seem promising’

The emergency room witnesses similar or even more critical situations every day, situations where every minute matter. No one was emotionally prepared to take the risk of potentially putting a child’s life at stake. No one was ready to take that responsibility, at least in my son’s case. As such thoughts raced in the back of my mind, I found myself pondering

‘How can we support health care personnel to be ready for such encounters?’

The solutions that were available on the market back then didn’t convey a real feeling of how an actual patient would be. The realistic component was hardly there. I could only imagine that the training experience of healthcare professionals would not be as challenging nor immersive as the experience they would have with a real baby.

Instead, I envisioned a realistic patient simulator with all the important features to prepare doctors for all kinds of situations and help them handle even the rarest cases such as the case with my son, which was without precedent anywhere else in the world back then.
That’s how I got started with the design of NENASim, our realistic neonatal patient simulator.”

This story was also published by

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