Author Archives: Granit Mavraj

The Manikin v. Computer


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) has been a disease that affects 15 million Americans today. It is the number one reason employees give their employers when they have to miss work. There is no current cure for COPD and no effective treatment to take care of the symptoms. As a result quality of life in a COPD patient is extremely diminished and once a patient has COPD, that patient dies with COPD. The patient often feels he cannot breath and unfortunately there is nothing out there that can take this feeling away. For my research, I decided to study how nursing students prepare to treat COPD patients using manikin simulation versus computer scenario. Because COPD is such a common case especially in this country and is fatal, I thought it would be interesting to observe how nursing students prepare themselves for the death and dying scenario of a patient with COPD.

The research consists of two parts. One is a group of nursing students taking part in a live manikin simulation of a patient with exacerbated COPD, and the other is a group of students who do the same simulation but on a computer. The objective is to find out which teaching method prepares the nursing student more for a COPD case. The case study is consistent for both simulation and scenario. Students are analyzing an elderly male with exacerbated COPD, alcohol abuse problem, and who lives alone. After both simulation and scenario groups have completed their assignment, I would interview them and ask questions like, “Do you feel prepared dealing with COPD cases in which the patient could die?” The feedback from the interviews will not only illustrate which teaching method is better but would analyze how well these students can be mentally prepared for emergency COPD cases. The fact that the subject of the simulation has an alcohol abuse problem and the individual lives alone tests the students to look out for another factor, suicide. Interestingly COPD patients are more likely to experience suicidal tendencies because they have an incurable disease that makes them feel like chocking. Also living alone as a COPD patient can be very frightening because an attack can occur and no one is there to help. Through analyzing the performance of nursing students in simulation and scenario tests, there capabilities in situations of death and dying can be better understood.

For more information on Manikin Simulation click Here.

For more information on COPD and Suicide click Here.

Frozen Space


A few weeks ago during a discussion seminar we were talking about technology in the modern era that has prolonged life. Of the many technologies talked about, like respirators, artificial hearts, and stem-cell research, cryogenics came up. Along with the very cool/science fiction notion of cryogenics, there is a very real possibility of using this technology for space travel. However there is always an important question that comes up when discussing cryogenics. Is the individual truly alive? And, how does cryogenics change the concept of death in the modern era?

The concept behind cryogenics in space travel is what you see in science fiction movies. The idea is to provide humans an alternative to traveling millions of light years without the threat of aging or dying. Placing humans in a frozen state can accomplish this. This field is also very attractive in disease research because humans can be frozen in the hope to be reawaken in a time where that disease may be cured. Cryogenics is also an alternative to customary death rituals. Many individuals, instead of being buried or cremated, prefer to be in a constant frozen state.

Believe it or not, cryogenics is currently being used aboard modern space ships and space stations, but not in the way you see in movies. The cryogenics technology requires the use of H2 and O2 molecules to provide a freezing mechanism. This is very useful for rocket thrusters, engines, and to preserve food for long distance space travel. The same application can be used for humans too. But the problem lies in how to restore humans back to active status after arriving at a certain destination, or even if the freezing can be reversed and the humans are able to recuperate from such a long stretch of time in a frozen state.

Cryogenic technology is a viable option for long distance space traveling by allowing humans to be in a frozen state in which they cannot age or die. However cryogenics pushes the envelope of the modern concept of death and dying. This technology is already being used to freeze human remains for the purposes of medical research. Now it can be used to cheat death, in a sense, which will alter how we see death and dying in the future to come.

For more information on cryogenics in space please visit here.

For a look into history of cryogenics and application visit here and here.