30 Years of Laerdal Italia

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We interviewed Novella Callero, Country Manager of Laerdal Italia, on the occasion of the company’s 30th anniversary. During the chat, Novella tells us how the Italian division of one of the leading manufacturers in the field of simulation was born and what the first projects carried out in the area were, before shifting our gaze to the present and future.


Founded in 1994, Laerdal Italia continues to play a key role in the evolution of medical training, contributing significantly to the quality of Italian healthcare.

We attempted to reconstruct the company’s historical stages through a chat with Novella Callero, Country Manager of Laerdal Italia.

SZ: Novella, can you help us retrace Laerdal’s milestones in Italy?

Colleagues who have witnessed the founding of Laerdal in Italy always get excited when I tell them about the project called Public Access Defibrilation Chain (acronym PAD Chain), which set out to introduce early defibrillation in Italy, linking different entities from institutions to the 118 emergency system. If today we speak of the chain of survival as an established fact, it is also thanks to Laerdal’s pioneering efforts in actively promoting projects like this one, which actively enabled the implementation of over 5900 defibrillators and the consequent training plan.

SZ: Wow! What years are we talking about?

We are talking about the 1990s. In 1994, there was the transformation from distributor to branch of Laerdal. In the same year, the Italian Resuscitation Council, I.R.C., was set up in Sirolo, with temporary headquarters at the Lancisi Hospital, and its deed of appointment is framed in Laerdal, testifying to the attention it has always paid to supporting and collaborating with scientific societies. In 1998 and 1999, two other important collaborations were forged with the Society of Emergency Medical Services – SIMEU and the Society of Hospital Cardiologists – ANMCO.

SZ: When did you join Laerdal?

I joined Laerdal at the end of 2010 and made my debut by attending the Consensus Conference in Rome, on ‘High fidelity simulation: the gold standard for medical education’ organised by Laerdal under the patronage of IRC and the scientific supervision of Erga Cerchiari, Alessandro Barelli, Marcus Rall, Vinay NadKarni, Paolo Biban. It was an unprecedented event in terms of scientific scope and the involvement of all the national and international simulation experts of the time. I had the impression – later confirmed on several other occasions – of Laerdal’s role as a company capable of connecting Italy to Europe and the world thanks to our international dimension, numerous experiences and collaborations in all countries. I like to think that we are facilitators and promoters of new ideas, projects and good practices.

SZ: What was this Consensus Conference?

It was an attempt to define a path of evolution and dissemination that would lead to an inter-societal sharing of simulation as fundamental in all training processes in healthcare. I believe that this is also a current need nowadays; not because of any shortcomings of that technical table, but because societies change, along with people and needs, and it becomes physiological to provide for periodic realignment meetings between working groups belonging to different scientific societies or different environments. If I remember correctly, the Commission on Simulation Training that was set up in 2021 also has aims similar to those of the Consensus Conference.

SZ: Let’s fast forward to the present day, what have been the recent activities that Laerdal has supported?

I could talk for hours, but there are some recent experiences that deserve special emphasis. I am referring to the partnership thanks to which the first Master Class in Strategic Debriefing took place, with the presence of Professor Nardone who introduced the basics of Strategic Debriefing and the transposition of this into the context of Post-Simulation Debriefing by Giorgio Capogna and Pier Luigi Ingrassia. The presentation during the SIMMED congress of the summary findings of the Safety2020 project, in which we are a partner alongside the University of Foggia, with Professor Cinnella and Professor Mirabella leading this Erasmus Plus. It was an extraordinarily educational if challenging experience, just think that Peter Dieckmann was among the Simulation experts.

And then the Sim-Excape Room experience during the Siaarti congress. I am particularly proud of this experience because in addition to being the first of its kind, it gave us moments of working together with extraordinary people, both humanly and professionally, such as Stefania Brusa, who coordinated the group of instructors on the clinical content of the didactic activity carried out. And then the meeting with everyday heroes such as a ‘prof’ from the Aldini Valeriani school in Bologna who, in addition to investing a lot of energy in the I.R.C. centre for permanent CPR training at the institute, took part with us in an initiative in Piazza L. Dalla, desired by the Navile councillor, dedicated to the population, or rather to the young and very young people of the district.

SZ: How do you intend to celebrate this 30th anniversary?

We have decided to celebrate this anniversary not with a single event, but through a plurality of events, projects. True to our nature, which has always seen us present in different areas, we will move across the board, from initiatives on resuscitation that once again support the early CPR culture in the area to initiatives on advanced medical simulation with a focus on today’s healthcare needs.

SZ: We understand you don’t want to anticipate anything…?!

Let’s just say that I hope you will follow us throughout the year, event by event via SIMZINE, Social and whatnot.

SZ: So what news will accompany the 2024 celebrations?

We will present at the IMSH MamaAnne® and the new range of simulators for obstetric emergency management; we will talk about the collaboration with SimX for virtual reality and with Limbs and Things for augmented reality; we will present the new features regarding SimCaptureintended not only as an audio-video system but as a platform for managing training/learning in simulation. .. and then many new services, for example KnowledgeHubKnowledgeHub, to facilitate the management of simulation centres and to bring turnkey simulation into the training plans of healthcare organisations.

SZ: So there will be no shortage of new things!

Yes, in fact technology is evolving rapidly even in the area of simulation, much more so than 10 years ago. We continue to embrace technological innovation with a clear focus and purpose. Guided by values such as Focus on Impact, we will do our best to provide advanced solutions that, with a renewed focus on economic sustainability, will help improve medical education to ensure a higher impact on the skills of healthcare professionals and thus on the clinic and patients.

SZ: Thank you, we believe this helps to better understand the uniqueness of your mission: Helping Save Lives.



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