ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

Paracentesis is a routine medical procedure quite relevant in clinical practice. There are risks of complications related to paracentesis, so it is essential a proper trainee for the younger practicer.

OBJECTIVE:

The article describes the construction and the application of a low cost paracentesis simulator for undergraduate medical students and it also describes the perception of students about the simulator as well.

METHODS:

A low-cost model was developed by the Program of Tutorial Education for training medical students during three editions of an undergraduate theoretical-practical course of bedside invasive procedures. The authors constructed a model from very low-cost and easily accessible materials, such as commercial dummy plus wooden and plastic supports to represent the abdomen, synthetic leather fabric for the skin, upholstered sponge coated with plastic film to represent the abdominal wall and procedure gloves with water mixed with paint to simulate the ascitic fluid and other abdominal structures. One semi-structured form with quantitative and qualitative questions was applied for medical specialists and students in order to evaluate the paracentesis simulator.

RESULTS:

The paracentesis model has an initial cost of US$22.00 / R$70.00 for 30 simulations and US$16.00 / R$50.00 for every 30 additional simulations. It was tested by eight medical doctors, including clinical medicine, general surgeons and gastroenterologists, and all of them fully agreed that the procedure should be performed on the manikin before in the actual patient, and they all approved the model for undergraduate education. A total of 87 undergraduate medical students (56% male) individually performed the procedure in our simulator. Regarding the steps of the procedure, 80.5% identified the appropriate place for needle puncture and 75.9% proceeded with the Z or traction technique. An amount of 80.5% of the students were able to aspire the fluid and another 80.5% of students correctly performed the bandage at the end of the procedure. All the students fully agreed that simulated paracentesis training should be performed prior to performing the procedure on a real patient.

CONCLUSION:

The elaboration of a teaching model in paracentesis provided unique experience to authors and participants, allowing a visible correlation of the human anatomy with synthetic materials, deepening knowledge of this basic science and developing creative skills, which enhances clinical practice. There are no data on the use of paracentesis simulation models in Brazilian universities. However, the procedure is quite accomplished in health services and needs to be trained. The model described above was presented as qualified with low cost and easily reproducible.