Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine| Volume 41, ISSUE 2, P176-181, August 2011

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A Porcine Training Model for Ultrasound Diagnosis of Pneumothoraces



      Ultrasound for the evaluation of pneumothoraces has been extensively studied. Several medical specialties have recognized the benefit of this technique; however, a training model has not been established.


      Using a porcine model, we attempt to establish a model for the training of ultrasound diagnosis of pneumothoraces.


      Two pigs were anesthetized on two separate occasions. A pneumothorax was introduced each time. Participants were blinded to the study design and were not aware of the number of pneumothoraces present. A brief training lecture was given before performing the ultrasound, and the results of each lung examination were recorded. The data were collected and analyzed for the accuracy of assessment.


      A total of 18 individuals participated in the study, with six individuals participating on both days. Ninety-six lung ultrasound examinations were completed; 69% of the lung examinations were correctly diagnosed on the first day and 94% on the second. Participants correctly diagnosed a pneumothorax 50% of the time at the first laboratory and 100% of the time at the second. Participants who attended both laboratories increased their ability to diagnose a pneumothorax from 66% to 100%.


      We believe this porcine model can be used for the training of ultrasound diagnosis of pneumothoraces. Participants who completed two training sessions improved their accuracy from 66% to 100% in the diagnosis of pneumothoraces. Study participants rated the educational experience highly on a post-laboratory questionnaire, and feel they will be more comfortable using it in a real-life situation.


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