Background and aims Ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block (USGPNB) is a safe and reliable procedure. However, it is not easy for the novice to perform an appropriate procedure from the start. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether laser-guided ultrasound probe facilitated the performance of USGPNB for the novice practitioners compared with standard ultrasound probe.
Methods 32 medical students and residents who have never performed USGPNB were enrolled in this study. The participants were randomly allocated into two groups: GroupL using laser-guided probe and GroupS using standard probe. Each participant performed USGPNB with each probe of the group on porcine phantom a total of six times, three times with linear probe for the simulated nerve embedded in the shallow layer and three times with convex probe for the nerve in the deep layer. A blinded researcher measured the time required for each procedure. Finally, the participants answered a 5-point impression scale of the difficulty for USGPNB. We evaluated the differences in the time required for the procedure and in the impression scale of the difficulty. The date was statistically analyzed with Mann-Whitney U test.
Results The time required for the procedure (min, median[IQR]) was significantly shorter in GroupL than GroupS in using linear probe (GroupL: 65[37.5–96.5], GroupS: 92.5[55.5–162.25], P= 0.013) and convex probe (GroupL: 54.5[34.5–88.5], GroupS: 93.5[61.25–143], P= 0.003). There was no difference between two groups about the impression scale of the difficulty for USGPNB.
Conclusions Our study demonstrated that laser-guided ultrasound probe might facilitate the performance of USGPNB from the start of their training for the novice.
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