Helpful Hints

How to Make the Most of Your TraumaMan System


1. Add water before performing the Cricothyroidotomy

The TraumaManSystem's Cricothyroidotomy can be an incredibly realistic experience for each student. Here's how to maximize it.

  • Add 40 to 60 cc's of water to the trachea
  • Use a 6.0 mm endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube
  • Place water-based gel on the cartilage, membrane, and in the simulated trachea (under the membrane) to better replicate human anatomy
  • Place one drop of simulated blood on the lubricated cricothyroid membrane
  • Always replace the cricothyroid membrane after it has been surgically dissected - this ensures that the student receives a rush of air
  • Replace or reposition the neck tissue set to provide each student with a first cut experience

2. For more surgical realism, lubricate the cricothyroid cartilage

When you prepare the system for the Cricothyroidotomy, be sure to place water-based gel on the cartilage, membrane, and in the simulated trachea (under the membrane). This betters replicates real human anatomy during the procedure. For even more realism, place one drop of simulated blood on the lubricated cricothyroid membrane. Then attach the neck tissue by lining up the velcro and securing it to the felt strip. This creates minimal blood effect when the student surgically dissects the tissue layers.

3.  Remember to change the cricothyroid membrane

It is important to replace the cricothyroid membrane each time it is surgically dissected. The membrane is a seal for the ventilation system, so if it is not replaced it considerably weakens the airway response. This means the student won't feel a rush of air during the Chest Tube insertion procedure, when the pleural cavity is penetrated.

4. Change the pleura patch for Chest Tube Insertion

Did you know that each new chest tissue Simulab sends out is accompanied by two new pleura patches? For a realistic chest tube insertion experience, it is important to discard the used patches and replace them at the same time the chest tissue is changed. This will maintain the seal around the pleural cavity and allow each student to hear the "pop" of the parietal pleura being penetrated and feel a rush of air from the cavity.

5. Smooth out the pleura patch, too

During system set-up, it's important to make sure there aren't any wrinkles in the simulated pleura patches. Unless the patches are smoothly inserted, the thoracic cavity won't have a tight seal and the student won't feel a rush of air during chest tube insertion. If the pleura patch is wrinkled it also creates a problem when attempting to penetrate the pleura with a kelly clamp. Instead of penetrating it, the patch may get pushed between the ribs. To be safe, grab each end of the pleura patch and stretch it to remove wrinkles and create a tight seal.

6. For Pericardiocentesis, make sure your needle is at least 3.5 inches

When performing the Pericardiocentesis, check to make sure your pericardiocentesis kit includes a needle that is at least 3.5 inches long. Shorter needles won't be able to reach the simulated pericardial fluid. Once you've confirmed the needle length is correct and you are still not able to complete the procedure, please try one of Simulab's troubleshooting tips, like making sure the needle is not clogged. These tips can be found in the User's Guide Manual on page 47 or in the 9th section of the User's Guide DVD.

7. Add 10cc's of water to the air bladder for Needle Decompression

When performing the Needle Decompression, the user will be able to both hear and feel the rush of air that is released when the needle is inserted. To enhance the auditory realism of this procedure when the needle is inserted, add about 10 cc's of water to the Air Bladder. Water can be added to the bladder outside the TraumaMan body form or while it is already in the system. To add the water, use a syringe with a small gauge needle and insert it into the air connector or through the bladder's soft material. If an air response is not received when performing this procedure, make sure the needle is not cored.

8. Reduce noise from the ventilator

There are a few steps that can be taken to reduce the noise level of the TraumaMan System ventilator. The TraumaMan System's ventilator will power two systems at the same time. Even if you are only using one system, always have both hoses attached to the ventilator. Put the hose that is not in use inside the case. Then place the sheet of bubble wrap included with the system over the ventilator. Next, place the ventilator inside the TraumaMan Case and gently close the lid, ensuring that the hoses are not being pinched (folding in the case's latch will prevent this).

9. Check TraumaMan's System airway response

If TraumaMan's airway system is not responding as expected there are a few things you can do. Start by checking the connection between the ventilator and air supply line - it must be attached to the airway tube for the lungs to inflate (not the needle decompression coupler). Then take a look at the case lid to make sure it isn't crimping the tubes. Next, make sure a new cricothyroid membrane is in place and that the cricothyroid cartilage cover is securely fastened using the velcro straps on both sides. Then you can check the replaceable trachea - it should be firmly fitted over the ridge on the trachea tube. Finally, check the condition of the simulated lungs inside chest/ribs and make sure they are not punctured.