Lisa Bearden

Lisa Bearden of Marshall Medical shows how some new special training mannequins are used. 

The Marshall Medical North Auxiliary does more than run a gift shop and help visitors find their way through the hospital. They’re also helping improve the chances of infants and toddlers who are having difficulty breathing.

Volunteers used money from fundraisers to purchase a set of realistic neonatal and infant manikins, which are life-sized, anatomical human models used for teaching.

The manikins are now available for use in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) classes, where nurses and other clinical staff practice inserting a breathing tube in very young patients. Correct tube placement can be checked with an inflation test so trainees know when they’ve done it correctly.

“The new manikins allow the staff participating in the PALS class to practice basic and advanced airway management skills,” said Lisa Bearden, director of education at Marshall North. “I am so grateful for the generosity of the Auxiliary for making this purchase possible.”

Bearden approached Auxiliary members when her equipment began showing wear and tear from aging. The group of volunteers voted unanimously to spend nearly $1,400 to replace the manikins.

“As most of us volunteers are parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, we realize how important it is to have equipment specially designed for young children,” said Auxiliary President Betty Hendrix of Arab. “I am so proud of our Auxiliary for supporting this purchase and our education department for providing the training on this equipment.”

Volunteers raise money through gift shop sales and fundraisers to use for unbudgeted hospital needs. Marshall North Auxiliary purchased a chest compression machine for the ambulance department last year and bought 12 wheelchairs earlier this year for use throughout the hospital. Three junior volunteers were awarded scholarships in 2020 to help them pursue medical careers.

If you would like to volunteer or to get more information about the program, call Rose Myers, director of volunteer services, at (256)571-8010 or email rose.myers@mmcenters.com.

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