Live Tissue Training on Anesthetized Pigs for Air Ambulance Crews

Air Med J. Jan-Feb 2021;40(1):60-64. doi: 10.1016/j.amj.2020.10.003. Epub 2020 Nov 7.


Objective: Patients with life- or limb-threatening severe injuries pose a challenge to prehospital services. Time-critical decision making and treatment are challenging because of occasional incomplete information, limited resources, adverse environments, and a range of basic and advanced technical skills available. To prepare for these infrequent critical situations, medical personnel from the helicopter emergency medical service at Oslo University Hospital developed a 1-day advanced trauma training course focusing on individual skills and teamwork during resuscitative procedures.

Methods: Participants were trained under supervision in teams on an established live tissue model with anesthetized pigs. A questionnaire-based evaluation was conducted before and after training to measure the feasibility of covering the allocated learning objectives in the time allotted and participants' perception of any change in their skills as a result of the course.

Results: The self-reported skill level in all learning objectives improved significantly. Combining all learning objectives, the median self-reported skill level was significantly increased from 4 to 6 points (P < .001).

Conclusion: Experienced prehospital physicians and other health staff reported an increased level of skill and competence in lifesaving and limb-saving procedures after completing a brief, intense 1-day course using living anesthetized pigs and cadaver models.