Get Regular Updates!
|Training WA’s next crop of paramedics with fake blood and guts



Edith Cowan University

Student paramedic Jessica Buck treats a moulage stab wound on simulation education coordinator Sara Hansen.

Training WA’s next crop of paramedics with fake blood and guts

Imagine walking into a room and seeing a woman with blood spurting from two stab wounds.

Training WA’s next crop of paramedics with fake blood and guts

That’s the gruesome scene ECU student paramedics were confronted with last year.

Luckily, it was a simulation to test their speed and skill treating patients with realistic injuries.

ECU lecturer Dr Brennen Mills used Hollywood-style makeup, called moulage, to create fake injuries students will likely face in the future.


Students work faster but make more mistakes treating patients with gory injuries.

“When you think about it, it’s probably not all that surprising,” Brennen says.

“A lot of their exposure is in classroom-based scenarios where they are working on each other.”

“What we’ve done is throw them in the deep end and ask them to do something that’s a lot more reflective of what happens in the real world.”


Twenty-five second-year paramedicine students treated patients with realistic stab wounds while 25 students role-played imaginary stab wounds.

Brennen says seeing “blood spurting into the air” made students leap into action faster.

“They dove right in because they could see what they needed to do and just did it,” he says.

But while they applied pressure 30 seconds quicker, the moulage group’s test scores were lower.

“The moulage added an additional layer of difficulty and was enough to tip them over the edge, so their performance was suboptimal,” Brennan says.

“They are able to go through the motions nice and slow and do well, but when we put them under pressure with the added moulage, their performance suffers.”


This testing shows students should experience simulations before becoming professional paramedics, Brennen says.

“If their first exposure to a scenario of this kind was out on the road, our data would suggest they would perform sub-optimally.”

“That’s when I get a bit worried.”

“They need to reproduce behaviour that replicates how they’re going to need to act in real life.”


Brennen hopes universities embrace the benefits of moulage.

“The [students] enthusiasm and support for the moulage was overwhelming,” Brennan says.

“They said it was definitely challenging, but they…felt like they learnt and took away so much more.”

ECU has incorporated more moulage into final year paramedicine units since the study.

These simulations are part of a study submitted to Simulation in Healthcare for publication.

ECU paramedicine students treated patients with realistic injuries. ECU

Particle Puns


Creative Commons Logo

Republishing our content

We want our stories to be shared and seen by as many people as possible.

Therefore, unless it says otherwise, copyright on the stories on Particle belongs to Scitech and they are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This allows you to republish our articles online or in print for free. You just need to credit us and link to us, and you can’t edit our material or sell it separately.

Using the ‘republish’ button on our website is the easiest way to meet our guidelines.


You cannot edit the article.

When republishing, you have to credit our authors, ideally in the byline. You have to credit Particle with a link back to the original publication on Particle.

If you’re republishing online, you must use our pageview counter, link to us and include links from our story. Our page view counter is a small pixel-ping (invisible to the eye) that allows us to know when our content is republished. It’s a condition of our guidelines that you include our counter. If you use the ‘republish’ then you’ll capture our page counter.

If you’re republishing in print, please email us to let us so we know about it (we get very proud to see our work republished) and you must include the Particle logo next to the credits. Download logo here.

If you wish to republish all our stories, please contact us directly to discuss this opportunity.


Most of the images used on Particle are copyright of the photographer who made them.

It is your responsibility to confirm that you’re licensed to republish images in our articles.


All Particle videos can be accessed through YouTube under the Standard YouTube Licence.

The Standard YouTube licence

  1. This licence is ‘All Rights Reserved’, granting provisions for YouTube to display the content, and YouTube’s visitors to stream the content. This means that the content may be streamed from YouTube but specifically forbids downloading, adaptation, and redistribution, except where otherwise licensed. When uploading your content to YouTube it will automatically use the Standard YouTube licence. You can check this by clicking on Advanced Settings and looking at the dropdown box ‘License and rights ownership’.
  2. When a user is uploading a video he has license options that he can choose from. The first option is “standard YouTube License” which means that you grant the broadcasting rights to YouTube. This essentially means that your video can only be accessed from YouTube for watching purpose and cannot be reproduced or distributed in any other form without your consent.


For more information about using our content, email us:

Copy this HTML into your CMS
Press Ctrl+C to copy

We've got chemistry. Want something physical?