The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Gabriel A. Rodriguez1,2, Keleigh Z. Entienza1, Jose D. Rojas1, Jon O. Nilsestuen1

Background: The use of human patient simulators for clinical training has been in existence for several decades; however, the cost and hardware required are prohibitive for many programs. One area of clinical practice that could benefit significantly from improved simulator models is arterial access and pressure monitoring.

Objective: We set out to develop a realistic, portable, durable and inexpensive arterial line simulator. The model should be capable of allowing clinicians to practice arterial punctures, arterial line insertions, continuous monitoring, maintenance and analysis of the arterial pressure. In addition, the model should also provide the following elements that are consistent with actual human clinical situations: a palpable pulse, the ability to vary pressure, and realistic arterial waveforms responsive to the transducer- flush system. Furthermore, the model should be portable, capable of being readily setup, maintained, and allow clinicians to troubleshoot and take corrective action.

Methods: A standard arterial stick arm was connected to a peristaltic pump capable of producing variable pressures seen in vivo. The tubing, connections, and pump speed can be modified to produce various blood pressures and pressure tracings. To monitor pressures we utilized the disposable pressure transducers and bedside monitors employed by our primary clinical affiliate. The model includes protocols, materials lists and supplies, and the procedures for arterial line insertion and pressure monitoring.

In summary: we have successfully developed a durable mechanical model for clinical training of invasive pressure monitoring. The model simulates the human patient by creating a palpable pulse with a realistic arterial pressure waveform. It allows students and clinicians to practice arterial line insertion and pressure monitoring in a controlled environment without compromising patient safety. We believe the ability of this model to be reproduced inexpensively and be readily adapted for use with any invasive pressure transducer and monitoring system will enhance the educational opportunities for many programs.