Increasing Access to Medical Training With Three-Dimensional Printing: Creation of an Endotracheal Intubation Model

Lily Park, Steven Price-Williams, Alireza Jalali, Kashif Pirzada
JMIR Medical Education 2019 April 9, 5 (1): e12626

BACKGROUND: Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is a crucial life-saving procedure, where more than 2 failed attempts can lead to further complications or even death. Like all technical skills, ETI requires sufficient practice to perform adequately. Currently, the models used to practice ETI are expensive and, therefore, difficult to access, particularly in the developing world and in settings that lack a dedicated simulation center.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to improve access to ETI training by creating a comparable yet cost-effective simulation model producible by 3-dimensional (3D) printers.

METHODS: Open-source mesh files of relevant anatomy from BodyParts3D were modified through the 3D modeling programs Meshlab (ISTI-CNR) and Blender (Blender Foundation). Several prototypes with varying filaments were tried to optimize the ETI simulation.

RESULTS: We have created the novel 3D-printed pediatric ETI model for learners at all levels to practice this airway management skill at negligible costs compared with current simulation models. It is an open-source design available for all medical trainees.

CONCLUSIONS: Revolutions in cost and ease of use have allowed home and even desktop 3D printers to become widespread. Therefore, open-source access to the ETI model will improve accessibility to medical training in the hopes of optimizing patient care.


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