Realistic Chest Tube Simulator Using Pork Belly with Skin
The pork belly chest tube simulator is designed to instruct Emergency Medicine residents and Emergency Medicine-bound students.
Chest tube insertion is an essential procedural skill that must be mastered by practicing emergency and surgical providers. It is a lifesaving procedure indicated in cases of pneumothorax, hemothorax, chylothorax, empyema, esophageal/gastric rupture into the pleural space, and traumatic arrest.1,2 These critical patients require immediate decompression and evacuation of pleural space pathology. Therefore, chest tube insertion must be performed competently and expeditiously to prevent further morbidity and mortality. Performed improperly, chest tube placement can lead to ineffective decompression as well as life threatening visceral and vascular injury. Overall complications rates have been quoted up to 37%.3,4 Simulation offers a safe and effective method to master such procedural techniques. Unfortunately, many chest tube simulators are expensive5 or do not offer a realistic simulation experience. Therefore, we have designed an economical device that has a life-like feel, very similar to human skin and tissue.
By the end of this instructional session learners will be able to: 1) discuss the indications, contraindications, and complications associated with chest tube thoracostomy, 2) competently perform chest tube insertion on a simulator, and 3) properly secure chest tube.
This chest tube simulator uses a piece of pork belly that includes skin with underlying muscle and fascia. This tissue is placed over wooden strips and foam tape which are a proxy for human ribs and pleura. This chest wall anatomy allows the learner to locate landmarks, palpate intercostal spaces on real skin, and perform blunt dissection with a realistic “pop” of pleural tissue. Finally, since chest tube dislodgment is a common and unfortunate cause of morbidity and mortality, this chest wall design allows the learner to practice the essential and various techniques of securing the chest tube to real skin.
Chest tube, thoracostomy, pneumothorax, hemothorax, empyema, simulation.