Document Type



Emergency Medicine


Background: Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) is frequently utilized in emergency medicine (EM), with an extended-focused assessment with sonography in trauma (e-FAST) being the most widely used PoCUS modality. This modality is not only time- and cost-efficient, but it is highly accurate in the diagnosis and management of surgical patients in the emergency department, as well as being highly predictive of patient outcomes. Targeted training is essential to ensure a learner's confidence in image acquisition, interpretation, and translation of knowledge to making clinical decisions. High-fidelity simulation offers a uniquely safe and "mistake-forgiving" environment to teach and train medical professionals. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a high-fidelity simulator to train EM physicians in e-FAST at a tertiary care teaching hospital in a lower-middle-income country.
Methods: This quasi-experimental study was performed at a state-of-the-art simulation center of a multidisciplinary university hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Subjects were included if they were EM physicians who volunteered to participate and were available for the entire training and testing period. The educational intervention included lectures and hands-on practice on a high-fidelity simulator (SonoSim, Santa Monica, CA).
Knowledge and image interpretation on e-FAST were evaluated using a questionnaire, administered before and after the training course. Each participant's ability to acquire and interpret satisfactory images was assessed by experienced EM physicians and recorded. Participants were also administered a needs assessment survey and a course evaluation. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.). All the tests were two-sided, and p-values ≤0.05 were considered significant. Baseline characteristics and outcome variables were recorded and compared by Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.
Results: A total of 31 EM physicians, 12 (38.7%) men and 19 (61.3%) women, were enrolled in the study, with 24 (77.3%) having one to three years of EM experience. Mean and percentage group performance improved from 6 and 40% before the intervention to 14.5 and 96.6% after the intervention (Z=4.867, p≤0.05). Most improvement in image acquisition on high-fidelity simulation was observed in the upper right quadrant of the suprapubic window (29/31; 93.5%), followed by the upper left quadrant (27/31; 87%) and the subxiphoid window (21/31; 67%). All 31 participants reported improvements in comfort and confidence level with PoCUS after attending the workshop.
Conclusions: EM physicians who attended a brief workshop incorporating simulation demonstrated improvements in knowledge and image acquisition skills in all domains tested. High-fidelity simulation training is an effective modality for training EM physicians in e-FAST.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.