The impact of central line simulation before the ICU experience

Am J Surg. 2009 Apr;197(4):533-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2008.11.016. Epub 2009 Feb 27.


Background: This study was designed to evaluate whether resident performance of placing central lines improved after simulation training on newly available partial-task simulators.

Methods: This study was designed as a prospective, randomized controlled trial of standard training versus simulated training using CentralLine Man (SimuLab, Seattle, WA, USA). After receiving a lecture on central line placement, all junior residents on the trauma rotation were randomized on a monthly alternating schedule. Equivalency of groups was determined with a self-reported survey. All lines placed by the participants were monitored, and data were collected on performance and complications.

Results: The 2 groups (n = 34; 21 standard and 13 simulated) were equivalent at baseline. The simulated training group had a significantly higher level of comfort and ability than the standard training group. The simulated group outperformed the standard group on 12 of the 15 specific variables monitored, although this did not reach statistical significance. There were significantly more complications in the standard group.

Conclusions: Simulation for central line placement using a partial-task simulator does positively impact resident performance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Central Venous*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Competency-Based Education
  • Computer Simulation
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Educational Measurement
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Teaching Materials