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New Model for Learning Ultrasound-Guided Needle to Target Localization
  1. Brian A. Pollard, B.Sc., M.D., M.Ed., F.R.C.P.C.*
  1. Department of Anaesthesia, St. Michael's Hospital, and the Department of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  2. *Reprint requests: Brian A. Pollard, B.Sc., M.D., M.Ed., F.R.C.P.C., Department of Anaesthesia, St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. E-mail: brian.a.pollard{at}


Background and Objectives: The acquisition of technical skills for the novice learner presents challenges for students and teachers alike. With the introduction of ultrasound techniques in regional anesthesia, there has been interest from residents, fellows, and staff to acquire the skills necessary to incorporate this technology into their everyday practice. However, as both ultrasound machines and commercial target models are inherently costly, there are often issues of accessibility that may affect the opportunity to learn the desired skills.

Methods: Readily available extra-firm tofu, wood dowel, and electrical wire are easily composed to create models for learning ultrasound-guided needle manipulation.

Results: Wood and wire targets embedded in tofu present hypo- and hyper-echoic targets that allow the learner to appreciate the relationship between the two-dimensional ultrasound screen image and three-dimensional target planes.

Conclusions: This report presents an inexpensive, variable complexity model for learning ultrasound-guided needle-to-target localization.

  • Regional anesthesia
  • Ultrasound model
  • Needle model

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  • This work has not been supported by any corporate funding. With the exclusion of hospital-supplied ultrasound equipment and needles, all funds for the development of the model itself were provided by the author. This work has not been presented or published, in whole or in part, in any public forum.