The making of our hyper-realistic moulage heart

8 Mar 2022, 3:53 p.m.

In this post, our simulation technician Amy Dines explains how she and Eli Gumble, our senior technician, created a moulage heart for our ‘Anaesthetists Heart Sim’ course which ran on 21 January 2022.

This paediatric cardiac anaesthesia simulation day aimed to help anaesthetists gain experience, knowledge and confidence in managing critically ill children with complex cardiac issues. The realistic heart was created to facilitate an immersive simulation experience for candidates.

The setup for the open chest manikin on the Anaesthetists' Heart Simulation

The moulage heart was used during the ‘Anesthetists Heart Sim’ course to simulate open-heart surgery in the Clinical Simulation Centre.

The heart was to be set within the chest of the manikin ‘Laparoscopic Larry’ who has previously been used for laparoscopic courses. Amy and Eli created a mould using an anatomical heart from a torso with removable organs to ensure the new heart was as anatomically correct as possible.

An anatomical heart model was used to create the silicone mould

An anatomical heart model was used to create the silicone mould

Amy explained the process:

“To create the mould of the heart we mixed ‘part A’ and ‘part B’ silicone together and filled a tube with the mixture before placing the anatomical heart model inside. After it set, we demoulded the heart from the mould and then made a second silicone mixture with red dye and poured this in.

After this was set, we demoulded the silicone heart from the silicone mould. We wanted the heart to be as realistic as possible so covered it in liquid simulated blood and included the deoxygenated blood veins. For this, we scored along the silicone and injected a mix of simulated blood and blue silicone dye into the ‘vein’ which added an extra hyper-realistic touch to the heart.”

Amy painted the silicone heart with fake blood and veins to improve realism

Amy painted the silicone heart with fake blood and veins to improve realism

The heart was a great success and was met with positive feedback from both candidates and faculty at the Anaesthetists Heart Simulation course. Amy and Eli are already planning version two with tubes through the arteries and veins so that simulated blood can be pumped through the heart. We can’t wait to make it!

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about moulage at the GOSH Clinical Simulation Centre, get in touch at simulation@gosh.nhs.uk

Welcome, medical students!

In September 2021 we welcomed our first cohort of regular medical students to Great Ormond Street Hospital on a pilot scheme placement.

The simulation before Christmas

It was a cold, cold night in the north pole. Not just any old night, but the night of 23 December in fact.