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Novel Simulation for Training Trauma Surgeons

Aboud, Emad T. MD; Krisht, Ali F. MD; O'Keeffe, Terence MD; Nader, Remi MD; Hassan, Moustafa MD; Stevens, C. Melinda MD; Ali, Fahd MD; Luchette, Fred A. MD, MSc

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: December 2011 - Volume 71 - Issue 6 - p 1484-1490
doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3182396337
Original Article

Background: Clinical training in operative technique is important to boost self-confidence in residents in all surgical fields but particularly in trauma surgery. The fully trained trauma surgeon must be able to provide operative intervention for any injury encountered in practice. In this report, we describe a novel training model using a human cadaver in which circulation in the major vessels can be simulated to mimic traumatic injuries seen in clinical practice.

Methods: Fourteen human cadavers were used for simulating various life-threatening traumatic injuries. The carotid and femoral arteries and the jugular and femoral vein were cannulated and connected to perfusate reservoirs. The arterial reservoir was connected to an intra-aortic balloon pump, which adds pulsatile flow through the heart and major arteries.

Fully trained trauma surgeons evaluated the utility of this model for repairing various injuries in the thoracic and abdominal cavity involving the heart, lungs, liver, and major vessels while maintaining emergent airway control.

Results: Surgeons reported that this perfused cadaver model allowed simulation of the critical challenges faced during operative trauma while familiarizing the student with the operative techniques and skills necessary to gain access and control of hemorrhage associated with major vascular injuries.

Conclusion: In this report, we describe a novel training model that simulates the life-threatening injuries that confront trauma surgeons. An alternative to living laboratory animals, this inexpensive and readily available model offers good educational value for the acquisition and refinement of surgical skills that are specific to trauma surgery.


From the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute (E.T.A., A.F.K.), Saint Vincent Health System, Little Rock, Arkansas; Department of Surgery (T.O.), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Memorial Hospital (R.N.), Gulf Coast Brain and Spine Institute, Gulfport, Mississippi; Trauma Department (M.H., C.M.S., F.A.), Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York; and Department of Surgery (F.A.L.), Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois.

Submitted for publication July 15, 2011.

Accepted for publication September 23, 2011.

Supported by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas; Arkansas Neurosciences Institute, Little rock, Arkansas; People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, USA, State University of New York, Syracuse, New York; Practical Anatomy Workshop Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML text of this article on the journal's Web site (

Address for reprints: Emad T. Aboud, MD, Arkansas Neuroscience Institute, St. Vincent Infirmary, 5 St. Vincent Circle # 503, Little Rock, AR 72205; email:

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.