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Background and Aims Utilising ultrasound technology has resulted in higher success and lower complication rates during regional anaesthesia (RA) procedures. Proper training is necessary to accurately identify structures, optimise images, and improve hand-eye coordination. Simulation training using immersive virtual environments and simulation models has enabled this competency training to be conducted safely before performing on patients. We conducted a study to compare the simulator performance and users’ feedback on a Blue Phantom Regional Anaesthesia Ultrasound Training Block (BP) and NeedleTrainer (NT).
Methods Forty-seven participants (anaesthesiology and non-anaesthesiology practitioners) were recruited via convenient sampling during a RA workshop for novice practitioners. They were divided into the NT or BP group and then crossover to experience both NT and BP. Time-to-reach-target, first-pass success rate, and complication rate were assessed, while the learning and confidence scores were rated using six-item and three-item questionnaires, respectively, via a 5-point Likert scale.
Results BP group has a longer time-to-target as compared to the NT group (20±20 vs 10±9 sec, p=0.002), higher first-pass success rate (100% vs 80.9%), and lower complication rate (0% vs 19.1%). Higher learning satisfaction scores (26.7±3.1 vs 24.7±4.5, p=0.002) and confidence scores after training (13.1±1.9 vs 11.9±2.3, p<0.001) were recorded among the BP group. Further analysis is shown in table 1.
Conclusions We postulated that the artificial intelligence structure recognition software enables NT users to attain shorter time-to-target. In conclusion, BP provides better operator learning satisfaction, improved confidence, higher success and lower complication rates among novice RA practitioners, possibly due to greater tactile feedback during the simulated training.
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