Three-Dimensional Printed Pediatric Airway Model Improves Novice Learners' Flexible Bronchoscopy Skills With Minimal Direct Teaching From Faculty

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Abstract

Introduction

Training in pediatric flexible bronchoscopy (FB) is predominantly completed on patients. Early trainees are less accurate and slower than experienced bronchoscopists. This report describes the development of a three-dimensional printed airway model and describes how the model was used to teach learners basic FB skills.

Methods

Postgraduate year two (PGY2) pediatric residents completing a 1-month pediatric pulmonology rotation with minimal previous exposure to FB were randomized into a simulation trainee group (n = 18) or a control resident group (n = 9). The simulation group received four 15-minute practice sessions (3 self-directed, 1 with feedback). Participants completed a bronchoscopy assessment on the model at prestudy, poststudy, and delayed (at least 2 months after the rotation) time points. Outcomes were identification of markers located in the six lung areas and completion time.

Results

There was no difference in prestudy scores between groups. In the poststudy assessment, the simulation participants correctly identified more lung area markers (median = 6 vs 1.5, P < 0.001) and were faster (median = 102 vs 600 seconds, P < 0.001). In the delayed assessment, correct marker identification trended toward improvement in the simulation group compared with controls (median = 4 vs 2, P = 0.077).

Conclusions

With 1 hour of practice time, requiring 15 minutes of direct teaching, novice resident bronchoscopists are able to more accurately identify and visualize the five lung lobes and lingula via FB and are able to do so in less time than control residents. This anatomically accurate model could be used to train basic FB skills at a low cost compared with other models.

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