Feasibility of a perfused and ventilated cadaveric model for assessment of lifesaving traumatic hemorrhage and airway management skills

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Training health care providers to manage common life-threatening traumatic injuries is an important endeavor. A fresh perfused cadaveric model with high anatomic and tissue fidelity was developed to assess performance of hemorrhage and airway management skills during a simulated polytrauma scenario.


Fresh human cadavers were obtained within 96 hours of death. Hemorrhage from a right traumatic amputation and left inguinal wound was simulated using cannulation of the right popliteal and left femoral artery, respectively. The thoracic aorta (thoracotomy method) or external iliac arteries (Pfannenstiel method) were used for catheter access points. Lung ventilation to simulate chest rise and fall was achieved using bilateral chest tubes connected to a bag valve mask. Participants underwent a simulated nighttime field care scenario in which they attempted tourniquet placement, direct wound pressure and packing, and endotracheal intubation.


Twenty-four donors were obtained (58–95 years old; mean, 77). There were 305 total scenarios completed using 23 cadavers (mean, approximately 13 scenarios per cadaver). The cost for acquisition and preparation of donors can be estimated at $3,611 to $9,399.


This model successfully allowed for the demonstration of hemorrhage and airway management skills with high anatomic and tissue fidelity. For the assessment of critical lifesaving skills that are nondestructive in nature, the use of a fresh perfused cadaveric model is feasible and suitable for evaluation of these procedures.

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