Author(s): McVicar J, Niazi AU, Murgatroyd H, Chin KJ, Chan VW, McVicar J, Niazi AU, Murgatroyd H, Chin KJ, Chan VW
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Ultrasound-guided needle placement is a widely used technical skill that can be challenging to learn. The SonixGPS is a novel ultrasound needle-tracking system that has the potential to improve performance over traditional ultrasound systems. The objective of our study was to determine if the use of the SonixGPS ultrasound system improves performance of novice practitioners in ultrasound-guided needle placement compared with conventional ultrasound in the out-of-plane approach on a simulation model. METHODS: Twenty-six medical students without previous ultrasound experience were randomized into 2 groups. Each group performed 30 simulated ultrasound nerve blocks on a porcine meat tissue simulation (phantom) model. Both groups used the SonixGPS ultrasound; however, the study group had the needle-tracking system activated, whereas the control group did not. The participants were assessed for success rate, technical aspects of block performance, and certain behaviors that could compromise the quality of the block. Learning curves were developed to assess competence. RESULTS: The needle guidance group reached competence more often. This group had fewer attempts and quality-compromising behaviors than did those using conventional ultrasound. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the SonixGPS ultrasound needle guidance system improves the performance of technical needling skills of novice trainees in an ex vivo model. The place of this technology in the wider education of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia remains to be established.
This article was published in Reg Anesth Pain Med
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research