I am a Simulation Coordinator at a small skills development centre just north of Brisbane. We run a Twisted Advanced Life Support workshop as part of the Emergency Department registrar training. The simulations have been running for about 18 months. The focused assessment with sonography for trauma scanner (F.A.S.T.) had not been used in our simulations and therefore the doctors and nurses only had exposure to it in the Emergency Department.
I found out about the EDUS2 ultrasound trainer on Twitter through @PecoraNera1 . The guys from Saskatchewan, Paul Kulyk and Paul Olszynski (www.edus2.com) have developed a trainer for using in simulation which they explain very well in their project summary:
“The Emergency Department Ultrasound Simulator (edus2TM) is a portable bedside ultrasound device that allows for the seamless integration of Emergency Department Ultrasound (EDUS) into high fidelity simulation scenarios (HFS). Trainees using the edus2 gain the opportunity to determine whether to use bedside ultrasound (indications), how to properly hold and place the probe (image generation) and finally how to assess scans (image interpretation) as displayed on the edus2 screen all within the context of an HFS scenario.” (check out their video here).
They have kindly made this available though a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License . The EDUS2 seemed like the ideal way to integrate F.A.S.T. scans into our simulations.
The EDUS2 web site had all the information I needed. The cheaper things such as the R.F.I.D. scanner and tags I ordered online. I put in a request for a disused laptop to our information division. This was very complicated for them to understand. They give their old laptops to the hospital foundation to raise money for the hospital. They had never had a request to give an old laptop to an employee for use within the hospital. They were only able to sell me a new one at a great cost. I sent a copy of the EDUS2 project description to the hospital executive director with a covering letter hoping that she might be able to get me an old laptop. The next day I got a phone saying that she was generously donating her own old laptop to the project. This saved me a lot of time and expense. The next step was to find an ultrasound probe. I then went to see the chief radiographer. She was kind enough to provide me with an old probe from an ultrasound machine that was being donated to a vets (sorry cats, dogs, roos, crocs, koalas etc).
Once I had all of the equipment it was time to put it together.
I wiped the HDD of the laptop and installed the open source operating system, Ubuntu. Then I followed the EDUS2 guide linking the software on the computer to the comprehensive ultrasound scan library that the EDUS2 guys provide. Once I had done this I tested the R.F.I.D. scanner and the tags. This all worked very well. Thanks to the excellent directions. I then enlisted the help of my friend Mark Buchanan. He is an electrician amongst other things, and all round good bloke. He gutted the ultrasound probe for me, then recreated the grey part of the probe by bending plastic gutter down-pipe and super gluing in place. We modified Olimex MOD-RFID 125 R.F.I.D. scanner so that the electromagnetic field coil was in the tip of the probe. To do this he disconnected the copper wire and re-soldered it to the circuit board. This took a few goes to ensure that the tip of the probe was the most sensitive part. The probe was then resealed with silicone and superglue to ensure that it was water proof.
I bought a stand from the local discount supermarket for $30 and now it’s ready to go, all this for under $100. I am looking to use the EDUS2 in the next Twisted ALS and I’m planning to integrate it into other critical care simulations. I will post a video of it in action in the next week or so hopefully.
A big thanks to Paul Kulyk and Paul Olszynski for their innovation, excellent guides and philanthropy. They are presenting the EDUS2 at the 2012 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting. I will be very interested to know how they get on. Follow them on Twitter @edus2sim or their contact us page .
I would also like to thank Mark Buchanan for his help in creating the probe and his expertise in electronics. I would not have been able to complete the project without him.
- Laptop Free
- RFID scanner $46.73
- RFID tags $15
- USB cable 5$
- Ultrasound probe Free
- Stand $30
Total cost : $96.73