Please confirm that an ethics committee approval has been applied for or granted: Not relevant (see information at the bottom of this page)
Background and Aims Simulation is an important learning tool with growing interest in anesthesiology practice. To our knowledge, there is no low-cost medical model to simultaneously simulate peripheral nerve blocks and catheterization of central vascular accesses guided by ultrasound. Our goal was the creation of a low cost and high reliability medical model for this purpose.
Methods We present a model for training of ultrasound guided vascular catheterization and nerve block techniques. We have developed a simple low-cost anatomical phantom from pork meat. A yellow long tubular balloon with spaghetti inside simulates the nerve, a red long tubular balloon with a paper straw and red dye inside simulates an artery and a long blue tubular balloon with blue dye inside simulates a vein. We describe all the materials needed, as well as the preparation method.
Results Using an ultrasound, we recognize the three types of vasculo-nervous structures, the nerve as a hyperechoic non-compressible structure with a honeycomb appearance, the artery as a hypoechoic non-compressible structure and the vein as a hypoechoic compressible structure. The phantom we created, made of meat, seems to be an extremely realistic simulation of the human tissues, as well as a safe and cost-effective method of learning. It is easy to create, with materials that are easily accessible and low-cost.
Conclusions Simulation is becoming a routine part of anesthesiology education and training. Regional anesthesia and vascular catheterization are easy reproducible techniques. Our model is simple, inexpensive, and realistic and we believe it is a very useful training tool for any anesthesiology department.