SEATTLE -- Doctors at UW Medicine are working on next generation mannequins that will prepare combat medics to treat injuries sustained on the battlefield. If it works, the mannequin will nearly replicate a human being with terrible injuries.

UW Medicine received millions of dollars in grant money from the Department of Defense to work on the project. They are hopeful that by 2019 they will have a next generation mannequin that looks, feels, and bleeds like a human being.

“I definitely know that individuals who have gone through the training program have had significantly different stress inoculation, what I call exposure to this environment so that when you see it in combat, you’re not freaked out,” UW Medicine’s Troy Reihsen said. “I believe that this has the potential to affect training algorithms, the stress inoculation, and affect resiliency so that when you do see that the first time, you see your buddy’s leg blown off, you don’t completely freeze. You can actually act and treat.”

Dr. Robert Sweet is the Director of the Simulation Lab at UW Medicine and has been leading the charge with the efforts to obtain the grant from the Department of Defense. He is looking forward to what the newest mannequin will be able to do to provide combat medics with real life scenarios.

“Historically we haven’t had a lot of investment in simulation systems for training and now is a time when they are starting to invest,” Dr. Sweet said. “There’s a great interest.”

This is a joint effort by the University of Washington, UW Medicine, the University of Minnesota, and the Department of Defense. Reihsen is excited about the potential.

“We know that when we move better-trained health care providers to the front lines, we have better survivability. So there definitely needs to be more training and we need a model like this to support the training,” Reihsen said.