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Anesthesiology Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4237523, 12 pages
Review Article

Improving Patient Safety through Simulation Training in Anesthesiology: Where Are We?

Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

Received 20 October 2015; Revised 28 December 2015; Accepted 3 January 2016

Academic Editor: Getúlio R. de Oliveira Filho

Copyright © 2016 Michael Green et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There have been colossal technological advances in the use of simulation in anesthesiology in the past 2 decades. Over the years, the use of simulation has gone from low fidelity to high fidelity models that mimic human responses in a startlingly realistic manner, extremely life-like mannequin that breathes, generates E.K.G, and has pulses, heart sounds, and an airway that can be programmed for different degrees of obstruction. Simulation in anesthesiology is no longer a research fascination but an integral part of resident education and one of ACGME requirements for resident graduation. Simulation training has been objectively shown to increase the skill-set of anesthesiologists. Anesthesiology is leading the movement in patient safety. It is rational to assume a relationship between simulation training and patient safety. Nevertheless there has not been a demonstrable improvement in patient outcomes with simulation training. Larger prospective studies that evaluate the improvement in patient outcomes are needed to justify the integration of simulation training in resident education but ample number of studies in the past 5 years do show a definite benefit of using simulation in anesthesiology training. This paper gives a brief overview of the history and evolution of use of simulation in anesthesiology and highlights some of the more recent studies that have advanced simulation-based training.