Ultrasound probe and needle direction: Dominant hand or not?

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“We conducted a replicated crossover design study to assess if using one’s dominant hand for operating a probe vs directing a needle would affect the time taken, the number of needle passes and the accuracy of an ultrasound-guided procedure in phantom models” Johnston and Stafford (2015).

Reference:

Johnston, D.F. and Stafford, M. (2015) Dominant hand operating probe vs needle: a comparison study of ultrasound-guided needle placement in phantom models. Anaesthesia. April 7th. [epub ahead of print].

Summary:

We conducted a replicated crossover design study to assess if using one’s dominant hand for operating a probe vs directing a needle would affect the time taken, the number of needle passes and the accuracy of an ultrasound-guided procedure in phantom models. Twenty ultrasound-novice participants completed the task 10 times for each hand arrangement (alternating between attempts). The time taken and number of needle passes required for both dominant hand–probe and hand–needle decreased over time (p = 0.001). Dominant hand–needle had a lower mean time used (p = 0.001) and fewer needle passes (p = 0.02) compared with hand–probe. Sixty-five per cent of participants preferred using their dominant hand to direct the needle. When learning ultrasound-guided needle procedures on phantom models, use of the dominant hand to operate the needle is associated with a shorter procedure time and fewer needle passes.

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