Epidural Task Trainer

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Problem

Residents need practice the technique of holding, placing and advancing the needle and how to tap on the syringe – “so that the first time you do it, it isn’t on the lady in room two”. However, most epidural trainers on the market are whole torsos and cost upwards of $3,000. Want something cheaper and more simplified?

 
MInnovation

Trainer for epidural placement that has a lumbar spine inside of the ballistics gel that the FBI and law enforcement ballistics labs often use to simulate and test wound penetration. The type of ballistic gel allows you to insert a needle through it hundreds of times and then, once the practice is done, put it in the oven at 170 degrees and it will melt back down to liquid and be hardened again, just like new, for the next use. The entire task trainer came to a total of approximately $65-$70.

Materials

Bread pan to melt the ballistic gel in the oven. “I made it in my kitchen.” An extension cord you can pull out at the ends to create an epidural space. A plastic lumbar spine that you can buy on Amazon for $25 and the liquid gel.  Contact MInnovations and we can either provide the materials and a protocol for you to make your own Epidural Trainer, or we will make one and deliver it to you.

Meet the MInnovator
John Yosaitis, MD
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

John Yosaitis has over 25 years of experience as an anesthesiologist. The Epidural Task Trainer is now being used by the residents at Georgetown. It also can be used to practice spinal anesthetic lumbar punctures.

“In the medical field you can make a difference. You can create solutions because you’re seeing the problem on the front line. You’ve got the education. Use all that education to invent something that you could own yourself. You have to identify the problem first, then create a collaborative team of open-minded people. The idea of having ballistic gel in our lab came from somebody else on the team. The material was there and then the educational solution naturally evolved from there.”