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ISRN Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 259864, 6 pages
Research Article

Teaching Emergency Surgical Skills for Trauma Resuscitation-Mechanical Simulator versus Animal Model

Department of Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, 55 Queen Street East, Suite No. 402, Toronto, ON, Canada M5C 1R6

Received 8 August 2012; Accepted 27 August 2012

Academic Editors: A. K. Attri, D. Doll, A. Eisenman, and M. Mohsin

Copyright © 2012 Jameel Ali 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.


Background. Traditionally, surgical skills in trauma resuscitation have been taught using animal models in the advanced trauma life support (ATLS) course. We compare one mechanical model (TraumaMan simulator) as an alternative teaching tool for these skills. Method. Eighteen providers and 14 instructors performed four surgical procedures on TraumaMan and compared educational effectiveness with the porcine model. Evaluation was conducted (Likert system 1: very poor to 5: excellent). The participants indicated if TraumaMan was a suitable (scale 1: not suitable to 4: excellent) ATLS teaching model considering cost, animal ethics concerns, and other factors. Comments were solicited for both models. Results. Overall ratings for educational effectiveness of the 4 skills ranged from 3.58 to 4.36 for the porcine and 3.48 to 4.29 for the TraumaMan model. TraumaMan suitability was rated 3-4 (mean 3.38) by 84% participants. TraumaMan as a substitute for the porcine model was recommended by 85% participants. With no ethical or cost concerns, 44% students and 71% instructors preferred TraumaMan. Considering all factors, TraumaMan was preferred by 78% students and 93% instructors. Conclusions. TraumaMan is a suitable alternative to the porcine model and considering all factors it may be the preferred method for teaching ATLS emergency trauma surgical skills.