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Development of a Low-Cost, High-Fidelity, Reusable Model to Simulate Clamshell Thoracotomy.

Surgical Innovation 2023 October 25
OBJECTIVE: Clamshell thoracotomy (CST) is an emergency procedure performed during traumatic cardiac arrest. Emergency physicians and surgeons are expected to perform this procedure in the Emergency Department. However, the procedure has a low occurrence rate, therefore physicians are often poorly prepared. Current teaching methods include expensive simulators and anatomically inaccurate animal models. The goal of this study was to design, produce and test, a low-cost, high-fidelity model for the teaching of CST.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: The model was produced from inexpensive, commercially available materials as well as ADAMgel; a custom, recyclable, inexpensive tissue analogue. The model was tested across 19 physicians, mostly consultants and senior registrars in emergency medicine, anaesthesia and surgery. Participants completed comparative questionnaires before and after testing the model. The questionnaires were adapted from previous anaesthetic-based simulation studies and used a modified Likert scale to assess prior knowledge, anatomical realism and the teaching benefits of the model.

RESULTS: Participants had varied prior knowledge and experience before testing the model. Results showed that 89.47% (n = 17) of trainees felt the model was a reasonable substitute for practice and 100% (n = 19) agreed that the model was a good training aid for inexperienced trainees and would recommend it to others.

CONCLUSIONS: The model proved a successful teaching tool, improving physicians' knowledge and confidence with performing CST. This high fidelity, low cost model demonstrated that a high standard simulation teaching tool can be made which improves teaching of CST.

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