Background and Aims Ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia education continues to rely on patient or live-model based training. Teaching phantoms with accurate sonoanatomy are scarce; those which are available lack realism1 and are prohibitively expensive2. We evaluated the feasibility of a novel manufacturing process to create low-cost high-fidelity USGRA training phantoms, exemplified by an ESP block simulator.
Methods A 3D model of a container enclosing a thoracic spine fragment was designed using CT segmentation and Fusion 360 CAD (Figure 1/A). This was 3D printed by fused deposition modelling of biodegradable polylactic acid. The enclosure was filled with mineral oil resin gel wax and 0.05% TiO2 (Figure 1/B), facilitating a tissue-like image. Silicone and polypropylene were interspersed within the gel to simulate muscle layers. The complete phantom was incorporated into a manikin torso covered with silicone ‘skin’, establishing a lifelike presence (Figure 1/C). The materials cost was €18, and 15 hours required for 3D-printing. Anaesthetists of all grades (n=23, 10 consultants, 13 trainees) were invited to evaluate the phantom.
Results Most respondents (74%) strongly agreed that the phantom was realistic and 50% of free-text feedback included ‘realistic’ (Fig. 2). No respondents noted any anatomical features as incorrect or absent.
Conclusions There are no other ESP block phantoms which incorporate both physical- and sono-anatomy of all major structures identified by international consensus3. Our novel process features innovative materials that yield highly realistic yet low-cost phantoms. It can be employed to generate phantoms for any ‘Plan-A’ block, avoiding instruction on patients or cadavers.
Project partially supported by an NIAA Grant.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.