Are All Manikins Created Equal? A Pilot Study of Simulator Upper Airway Anatomic Fidelity

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This study evaluates the anatomic fidelity of several commercially available pediatric and adult manikins, including airway task trainers, which could be used in aerodigestive procedure training. Twenty-three experienced otolaryngologists assessed the aerodigestive anatomy of 5 adult and 5 pediatric manikins in a passive state, using rigid and flexible endoscopy. Anatomic fidelity was rated on a 5-point scale for the following: nasal cavity, nasopharynx, oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, trachea, esophagus, and neck. Mean scores and standard deviations were tabulated for each manikin at each anatomic site. Ratings by survey participants demonstrated variation in the anatomic fidelity of the aerodigestive tract in a range of manikins. Radar chart display of the results allows comparison of manikin fidelity by anatomic site. Differences in scores may allow instructors to select manikins with the best anatomic fidelity for specific educational purposes, and they may contribute to recommendations to improve future manikin design.

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