Skill development in ultrasound vascular access: A simple tissue model


“We have developed a tissue model for the practice and skills development in ultrasound vascular access.” Baddoo et al (2014).


Baddoo, H., Djagbletey, R. and Owoo, C. (2014) A simple tissue model for practicing ultrasound guided vascular cannulation. Ghana Medical Journal. 48(1), p.47-9.


INTRODUCTION: The use of ultrasound in anaesthetic practice continues to be more established and the use of ultrasound guidance in establishing vascular access is recommended by various groups. We have developed a tissue model for the practice and skills development in ultrasound vascular access.

METHOD: The tissue model consist of a piece of “pork belly”, a longitudinal shaped balloon inserted between two muscle layers at a chosen depth of the tissue model (mimics a blood vessel), a bag of intravenous fluid (e.g. Ringer’s Lactate) together with a giving set and a short piece of extension tubing connected to a three-way tap used to expel air from the system. One end of the balloon is tied to the giving set with the intravenous fluid. The other end is tied to the short tubing with the three-way tap.

RESULTS: Ultrasound images of the fluid filled balloon mimic a blood vessel. It is possible under ultrasound guidance to puncture the balloon several times (>10times) and still be able to distend the balloon with fluid.

INTERPRETATION: Ultrasound guided techniques require practice to improve hand-eye coordination. The “pork belly” tissue model allows multiple needle puncture without losing its functional integrity.

CONCLUSION: We believe the “pork belly” tissue model adds to the range of models that can be used to practice ultrasound guided vascular access. The components required for this model are readily available locally and affordable.

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