Harnessing the Power of Simulation in Healthcare for Disaster Management Training

Dheeraj Lokesha
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SIM Love is a space where simulationists and educators can share captivating personal journeys, dilemmas, or obstacles, allowing you to connect and derive your insights. Here Dheeraj Lokesha presents the event which marked a milestone in his career as a simulation technician: he describes the remarkable moment in which he orchestrated an aircraft disaster drill utilizing healthcare simulation techniques

Dheeraj Lokesha

Dheeraj is a Biomedical Engineer who graduated from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology. He has five plus years of experience in biomedical equipment service and maintenance in simulation center projects. CAE Healthcare had hired him as a customer service engineer. He worked on the turnkey project for Southeast Asia’s largest simulation center, Vydehi Advance Simulation Academy. Dheeraj is specialized in Centre management, High Fidelity Patient Simulation, Surgical simulation, Simulation Enhancements, Skills Trainers, Simulator software and Ultrasound simulation. He is currently working in Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust as a clinical simulation technician. He is captivated by simulation technical difficulties and strives to resolve them by using his skill sets.

As a dedicated Clinical Simulation Technician, my day-to-day responsibilities are rooted in setting the stage for impactful training courses and workshops through innovative simulation in healthcare.

Allow me to share a particularly remarkable experience: orchestrating an aircraft disaster drill utilizing healthcare simulation techniques in March 2023.

The idea

Our journey began in January 2023 when CAE Healthcare proposed hosting their HPSN Conference in India. My team envisioned a groundbreaking approach: why not leverage the largest simulation center in Southeast Asia instead of a traditional conference hall? We crafted a three-day event agenda, dedicating an entire day to an immersive aircraft disaster simulation.

This global announcement was made through CAE’s extensive social media networks, amplifying the reach of our innovative approach to simulation in healthcare.

I played the role of the Technical Manager at the simulation center. Now, the plan seemed to be easy, but let me list the numerous challenges I encountered and overcame:

  1. Sourcing a decommissioned helicopter.
  2. Coordinating with air ambulance services.
  3. Conducting comprehensive briefings with the fire brigade and security teams.
  4. Setting up a makeshift operating theater within the simulation facility.
  5. Arranging for live streaming to facilitate remote debriefing sessions.
  6. Applying hyper-realistic moulage to manikins and volunteers, simulating pilots and passengers with injuries.

The scenario

The scenario played out as follows. A helicopter was set ablaze, with volunteers and simulators on board. The security team promptly secured the area, calling upon the fire brigade and ambulance services. Within minutes, the fire was contained, and the emergency medical services (EMS) team, acting as workshop participants, provided critical on-site treatment. One ‘patient’ was even airlifted to our simulation center’s ER for urgent care, demonstrating the seamless integration of simulation in healthcare training.

Post-scenario, an in-depth debriefing was conducted for all participating teams, streamed live via our Learning Management Software to medical professionals involved in concurrent workshops.

This event marked a milestone in my career as a Technical Manager, where I successfully spearheaded the technical aspects of both the fire disaster workshop and the overarching conference, showcasing the transformative potential of simulation in healthcare.


Dheeraj Lokesha

Dheeraj Lokesha

Clinical Simulation Engineer View all Posts

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