Simulation of ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block: learning curve of CET-SMA/HSL Anesthesiology residents

Rev Bras Anestesiol. 2008 Mar-Apr;58(2):106-11. doi: 10.1590/s0034-70942008000200003.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background and objectives: The use of ultrasound imaging in peripheral nerve block has been increasing. However, there are few reports in the literature on the learning curve of the ultrasound technique. The objective of this report was to evaluate the learning curve of CET-SMA/HSL Anesthesiology residents of ultrasound-guided peripheral block using an experimental agar model.

Methods: An experimental model was developed by filling a bowl with agar and olives. Nine residents were randomly divided in three groups (G1, G2, and G3), each one with a R1, a R2, and a R3. All three groups received theoretical explanation. G1 also had two hours of practical training, G2 had one hour, and G3 had no training. Residents were then asked to place a needle at the middle of the olive wall, near the transducer and then reposition the needle between the olive and the bottom of the bowl, simulating the epidural injection of anesthetic. The speed and efficacy of the tasks, as well as technical flaws, were evaluated.

Results: The mean length of time to perform the tasks was 37.63 seconds for G1, without technical flaws; 64.40 seconds for G2, with two technical flaws; and 93.83 seconds for G3, with 12 technical flaws.

Conclusions: This study allows us to conclude that the longer training of ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve block in an experimental model improved the learning curve of the technique.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Random Allocation
  • Ultrasonography