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This study sought to assess the effectiveness of ultrasound simulation as a component of high-fidelity trauma simulation, in training diagnostic capabilities of resident and attending physicians participating in simulated trauma scenarios.
Twelve residents and 20 attending physicians participated in 114 trauma simulations. Participants generated a ranked differential diagnosis list after a physical exam and subsequently after a simulated extended focused assessment with sonography for trauma (E-FAST) ultrasound scan. We compared reports to determine whether the addition of ultrasound improved diagnostic performance.
The primary diagnosis accuracy improved significantly with the addition of simulated ultrasound (p<0.0001). Median diagnostic ranking scores also improved (p<0.0001). Further, participants reported a higher confidence in their diagnoses (p<0.0001) and narrowed their differential diagnosis list (p<0.0001).
We demonstrated that a low-cost ultrasound simulator can be successfully integrated into trauma simulations, resulting in an associated improvement in measures of diagnostic accuracy, confidence, and precision for participating resident and attending physicians.
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