PURPOSE: This paper describes a simple and inexpensive method to make high-fidelity simulators for use in ultrasound-guided vascular access teaching. The phantoms can be created to reflect the ultrasound appearance and feel of central or peripheral arteries and veins. Different clinical states such as hypovolaemia may be readily displayed using the phantoms.
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METHODS: The article and associated videos describe the production, appearance and use of phantoms for central vascular access, for peripheral venous access and for peripheral arterial access. Key ingredients are readily accessible and include chicken breasts, modelling balloons and thin walled latex or silicone tubing.
RESULTS: The phantoms are easily and rapidly constructed and may be used repeatedly in a training session. As the needle passes through the phantom and vessel wall, the ultrasound appearance and tactile sensation is very similar to that of human tissue and vessels.
CONCLUSIONS: Using this method, simple and inexpensive phantoms can be created. These are ideal for use in training for ultrasound-guided vascular access. Links to videos describing the phantom construction process, their appearance and the teaching techniques utilised by the authors are found in the text.
Rippey, J.C., Blanco, P. and Carr, P.J. (2015) An affordable and easily constructed model for training in ultrasound-guided vascular access. The Journal of Vascular Access. September 1st. [epub ahead of print].
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