Delivering Big Advances in Baby Steps

Sugical Sam launch

Surgical Sam, The World’s First Infant Surgical Team Trainer

► Full Brochure …

We are happy to announce the arrival of the newest addition to The Chamberlain Group family. Surgical Sam, the world’s first beating heart, breathing and bleeding, high fidelity team trainer for pediatric surgery is now available for purchase.

Engage your entire OR team in multiple “Skin to Skin” procedures using Sam’s interchangeable anatomical modules and replaceable organs.

Surgical Sam was co-developed by The Chamberlain Group and Boston Children’s Hospital Simulator Program (SIMPeds)

under the direction of Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, with Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, and David Mooney MD, MPH.

TSDA Anastomosis Tutorial

by Top Gun Cardiothoracic

Dr. Fann of Stanford University demonstrates the practice of vessel anastomosis on a Vessel Anastomosis Trainer* from The Chamberlain Group. This Trainer was developed under the guidance of the Thoracic Surgery Director’s Association (TSDA) and Dr. Fann. This instructional video (from Top Gun Cardiothoracic) is designed to assist surgical residents with the acquisition and refinement of needle handling techniques and anastomotic skills.

*NOTE: This is an earlier version of the trainer and is no longer available. Our Pocket Vessel Anastomis Trainer (#1389) differs from the one in the video only in that it has a clear cover and lacks side-arms.


Our Latest Offerings include:

VATS Trainer for Explant Left-Side (#8012)
Perfusion Beating Heart Trainer (#1362)
Fluoroscopic Heart (#1396)
MICS Mitral CABG Heart (#1390)
Surgical Sam (#4094)
Sam Pediatric Cardiothoracic Module (#4095)
VATS Trainer with Mimetic Lung (#8005)
Pocket Vessel Anastomosis Trainer (#1389)
PEG Demonstrator Inserts (#2185-2202)

Beating Heart (#1323)

TSDA Boot Camp 2014

CHAPEL HILL, NC — The Chamberlain Group was honored to contribute products for the TSDA Boot Camp 2014, an intensive course based on needs emerging in CT surgery residency programs. With the use of simulation, the course provides experience and hands-on practice in basic CT operating skills, allowing residents to be better prepared when entering the operating room in their home programs. At the invitation of the TSDA Boot Camp program directors, James I. Fann, MD, Richard H. Feins, MD, and George L. Hicks, Jr. MD, The Chamberlain Group provided their Heart Cases, Pocket Vessel Anastomosis Trainers and Vessels to serve as a platform to teach residents the mechanics of small vessel anastomosis in an anatomically challenging environment.

On behalf of TSDA, we would like to thank The Chamberlain Group for its generous contribution of equipment and supplies to the 2014 TSDA Boot Camp…. The Chamberlain Group’s role as a corporate sponsor was essential to the program’s overwhelming success, and your support is deeply appreciated.
— James I. Fann, MD, Richard H. Feins, MD, and George L. Hicks, Jr. MD

Surgical Sam, A Beating-Heart Mannequin, Takes the Stage

We often see medical magic in Hollywood, but it’s not often we see Hollywood magic brought into medicine. Now, Boston Children’s Hospital’s Simulator Program and special-effects collaborators at The Chamberlain Group (TCG) have done just that.

Simulation has become a key component in team training, crisis management, surgical practice and other medical training activities. With simulation, medical teams can add to and hone their skills in an environment where people can make mistakes without risking patient harm—”practicing before game time,” says Boston Children’s critical care specialist Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, who runs the Simulator Program.

Mannequins are a key part of simulation, and Weinstock’s team, working together with companies, designers and engineers, has developed eerily lifelike ones that can bleed and “respond” to interventions based on computer commands from a technician.

But there are some things Weinstock’s mannequins haven’t been able to capture up to now, like the movements of a beating heart.

That’s where TCG and a new mannequin called Surgical Sam come in.

From “bullet time” to training time

Founded by husband-and-wife team Eric and Lisa Chamberlain, TCG got its start in the movie business, designing special effects such as the iconic “bullet time” effect from “The Matrix.” But more than a decade ago, the Great Barrington, Mass.-based company saw an opportunity to shift from cinematic special effects to medical training and simulation.

“A medical company had heard that we were really good at making scale models,” recalls Lisa Chamberlain, the company’s managing partner. “We knew nothing about medicine or medical training but were interested in the intellectual challenge of it.”

Today, the company uses its special effects know-how to develop and manufacture high-fidelity medical training tools—hearts, blood vessels, internal organs, limbs, etc.—that mimic the touch, feel and resilience of actual tissues. Many of their products form the cornerstone of training and product development programs for hundreds of hospitals and device manufacturers.

Giving a mannequin a beating heart

Three years ago, Weinstock met the Chamberlains at a medical simulation conference. “I saw an adult beating-heart trainer they had developed and asked whether they would want to partner on the development of a pediatric beating-heart training mannequin,” Weinstock says.

The TCG team began working with Weinstock, cardiac surgeon Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD, and trauma surgeon David Mooney, MD, MPH, to design and create Sam, a pneumatically-powered, fully operable modular medical trainer. Fynn-Thompson helped guide the development of Sam’s life-sized “heart,” which accurately mimics the beating motions of a healthy heart, as you can see here:

At a technician’s command, Sam’s heart can also replicate abnormal motions that a surgeon might see in a child. It’s construction also affords surgeons the opportunity to practice heart surgery, cannulation, suturing and other techniques.

Sam, who was formally unveiled in April at a meeting of the International Pediatric Simulation Society in Vienna, Austria, is the first pediatric beating-heart simulator on the market. In addition, thanks to Mooney’s input, Sam’s abdominal cavity accurately reflects the anatomy of a child’s intestines and other organs, including a bleeding liver, affording pediatric surgeons the opportunity to practice realistic abdominal surgical scenarios, like this:

The technology built into Sam adds a new level of physical reality to simulation. “A lot of simulation is computer-based, where a team reacts to data or readouts, and many mannequins are designed to blink or breathe,” says Chamberlain “But with Sam we have built a host of simulation capabilities that allow technicians to cue up physical events like releasing blood into a body cavity or perforating a bowel, organ changes that the team must respond to.

“We can program Sam for just about any scenario for which there is data,” she adds.
Both Chamberlain and Weinstock see lots of potential for expanding Sam’s capabilities with plug-and-play adaptors for other surgical specialties, such as orthopedics and general surgery. They also see Sam’s broader potential for scenario-based clinical training, which is why TCG is now actively marketing Sam to other institutions.

“This partnership between The Chamberlain Group and Boston Children’s represents a way for us to leverage our clinical knowledge and simulation expertise to the benefit of patients everywhere,” says Raj Khunkhun, a licensing manager with the hospital’s Technology and Innovation Development Office.
“Simulation is becoming one of the most rapidly growing fields in medicine now,” Weinstock adds. “Sam is a significant advance in making pediatric simulation as realistic as possible and adds a new dimension to clinical and team training in some of our most high-stakes areas—the operating rooms.”

– Written by: Tom Ulrich

Full Article

A Pediatric First!

The Chamberlain Group is pleased to announce the birth of Surgical Sam – the world’s first fully operable infant surgical team trainer.Surgical Sam Pediatric Surgery team trainer configured for cardiothoracic procedures.

Developed with Boston Children’s Hospital Simulator Progam (SIMPeds) as the centerpiece of their team-training initiatives in pediatric cardiothoracic and general surgery, Surgical Sam is the world’s first beating heart, breathing and bleeding high fidelity team trainer for pediatric surgery. Surgical Sam ‘moves the needle’ on pediatric surgical team training by allowing important steps of surgery to really happen – allowing OR teams to fully immerse in simulations to optimize performance, safety and outcomes for children.

Surgical Sam is built on a “chassis” with interchangeable thoracic and abdominal anatomy. A cannulatable beating heart with replaceable right atrium and aorta is the centerpiece of the cardiothoracic module; the belly component includes a complete GI tract and liver capsule bleed. Both anatomies plug into the baby chassis, including intubation-compatible lungs, radial pulses, and hemodynamic flow to the cavities. The beating heart for the CT procedures can be fed by and synchronized with the output of a patient monitor for enhanced physiologic realism. Emergent resternotomy and redo laparotomy scenarios, developed by the faculty at Boston Children’s Hospital, have been repeatedly performed with each module by full OR teams as part of a multi-year program under the guidance of the BCH Simulator Program director and principal investigator, Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD.

Dr. Weinstock and his colleagues, Francis Fynn-Thompson, MD and David Mooney, MD, MPH, first approached The Chamberlain Group about the project, having learned of the company’s extensive experience in development of custom anatomy for surgical procedures. Unlike patient mannequins that present simulated physiology without the opportunity for extensive operative interaction, Boston Children’s was seeking a deeply immersive experience for the full OR team. Together BCH and Chamberlain, led by company president and design director Eric Chamberlain, collaborated to bring Surgical Sam to life, addressing the heretofore unmet need of high-fidelity team training that engages the entire OR, including surgery, in the care of the smallest of patients.

Surgical Sam premiered at the 6th International Pediatric Simulation Society Symposia and Workshops (IPSSW) meeting in Vienna, Austria in April, 2014.

►Surgical Sam Brochure PDF

The Chamberlain Group designs, develops and manufactures custom anatomy for surgical and interventional training, research, device development, sales and marketing. As pioneers in the creation of mimetic tissue since 1999, The Chamberlain Group has developed and offers over 500 products. With applications for cardiothoracic, vascular, GI, reproductive, pulmonary, orthopedic, pediatric, and general surgery training and development, our clients include teaching hospitals and regional hospitals, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, biotech and researchers in over 50 countries.

For more information please contact:
The Chamberlain Group, 934 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA USA 01230.