The Particulars: Previous studies have shown that ED thoracotomy (EDT) is a rare occurrence and that training general surgery residents in the procedure can be challenging. A hybrid simulation was designed for residents to recognize the indications for EDT and train them in the trauma environment to conduct the procedure. The simulation may help teach residents the cognitive and technical aspects of EDT.

Data Breakdown: Residents participating in a simulation-based education program were asked to address two scenarios. In the first scenario, a high-fidelity simulator represented a patient with an epigastric gunshot wound, and residents were required to make a cognitive decision about whether or not to proceed with an EDT. In the second scenario, a cadaver in an actual trauma bay simulated the same patient, on whom the residents performed the technical aspects of EDT. More than 90% of residents said the program enabled them to better recognize the indications for an EDT and utilize system assets to manage an EDT.

Take Home Pearl: A hybrid simulation program appears to effectively train general surgery residents in the cognitive and technical aspects of EDT.