The demand for increased patient safety has led to greater use of simulation training of health professionals performing medical procedures. The study aim was to evaluate the usefulness of the Mediseus® Epidural Simulator in teaching basic epidural needle-handling skills. Three groups of 15 anaesthetists (Novice=zero to two year anaesthesia trainees; Intermediate=three- to five-year anaesthesia trainees; Expert=consultants and regional-specialist anaesthetists) from three different medical centres participated. Each participant performed 20 simulated epidural needle insertions and was scored on several parameters (e.g. time, success of the insertion, bone collisions). Following familiarisation with the simulator and the needle insertions, participants answered seven questions on the applicability of the simulator to the teaching of basic epidural needle-handling skills. There was a clear learning effect with regard to the simulation procedure time, this decreasing throughout the experiment (P=0.037). There was no significant influence of either group or experience with the simulator in the study on the number or type of errors made. The quality of the simulation was scored 2.3 out of 5.0 (for bone simulation) and 4.7 (for loss-of-resistance simulation). All groups considered that the simulator was best suited for training prospective anaesthetists. Each group rated the usefulness of the simulator for training novices at greater than 3.0 out of 5.0. The Mediseus® Epidural Simulator seems to be an appropriate training device for an introduction to epidural needle insertion. For medical professionals with procedural knowledge, the simulation is not realistic enough and the simulator did not distinguish between the groups based on the errors made.

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Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Department of Anesthesiology

Lee, R. A., Van Zundert, T. C. R. V., Van Koesveld, J. J. M., van Zundert, A., Stolker, R., Wieringa, P. A., & Gatt, S. P. (2012). Evaluation of the Mediseus® epidural simulator. In Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (Vol. 40, pp. 311–318). Retrieved from