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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 376415, 7 pages
Research Article

Assessment of a Low-Cost Ultrasound Pericardiocentesis Model

1Abteilung Kardiologie, Kerckhoff Klinik Bad Nauheim, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany
2Frankfurter Institut für Notfallmedizin und Simulationstraining, Fachbereich Medizin der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3II. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
4Klinik für Anästhesiologie, Intensiv- und Notfallmedizin, Diakonie Klinikum Jung Stilling, 57074 Siegen, Germany
5Zentrale Notaufnahme, Klinikum Darmstadt, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany
6Klinik für Unfall-, Hand- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
7Zentrale Notaufnahme, Klinikum Frankfurt Höchst, 65929 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Received 19 July 2013; Accepted 16 September 2013

Academic Editor: Stefan Puig

Copyright © 2013 Marco Campo dell'Orto 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.


Introduction. The use of ultrasound during resuscitation is emphasized in the latest European resuscitation council guidelines of 2013 to identify treatable conditions such as pericardial tamponade. The recommended standard treatment of tamponade in various guidelines is pericardiocentesis. As ultrasound guidance lowers the complication rates and increases the patient’s safety, pericardiocentesis should be performed under ultrasound guidance. Acute care physicians actually need to train emergency pericardiocentesis. Methods. We describe in detail a pericardiocentesis ultrasound model, using materials at a cost of about 60 euros. During training courses of focused echocardiography participants tested the phantom and completed a 16-item questionnaire, assessing the model using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Results. Eleven of fourteen questions were answered with a mean VAS score higher than 60% and thus regarded as showing the strengths of the model. Unrealistically outer appearance and heart shape were rated as weakness of the model. A total mean VAS score of all questions of 63% showed that participants gained confidence for further interventions. Conclusions. Our low-cost pericardiocentesis model, which can be easily constructed, may serve as an effective training tool of ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis for acute and critical care physicians.