Evaluation of the Trauma-Man® Simulator for Training in Chest Drain Insertion

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The Trauma-Man® simulator (Simulab, USA) was announced by the American College of Surgeons as a legitimate alternative to the advanced trauma life support (ATLS) animal surgical skill station. The aim of this study was to evaluate chest drain insertion training using the simulator.


Twenty-four experienced physicians and 42 ATLS course participants performed chest drain insertion using the simulator. Additionally, the ATLS course trainees performed the task in the animal skills laboratory. Following training they all completed a subjective questionnaire.


Experts rated the various steps required for chest drain insertion similar to the human equivalent, with median scores of 4 or 5 (scale of 1–6) for all steps and recommended the use of the simulator for the training of novice doctors in performing the procedure (score 5.5 ± 0.8, median 6 in a scale of 1–6). Experts recommended that the area allotted for chest drain insertion in the simulator will be modified in the cephalad direction to correspond with the guidelines of chest drains insertion.

ATLS course participants found the simulator superior to the animal model only in teaching anatomical landmarks, whereas the animal model was found to be superior in teaching tissue dissection and chest drain fixation.


The Trauma-Man® simulator is an efficient training tool for the chest drain insertion. Minor changes are recommended for the enhancement of the simulators' realism.

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Correspondence to Haim Berkenstadt MD.

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Berkenstadt, H., Munz, Y., Trodler, G. et al. Evaluation of the Trauma-Man® Simulator for Training in Chest Drain Insertion. Eur J Trauma 32, 523–526 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00068-006-6159-1

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Key Words

  • ATLS
  • Trauma
  • Chest drain
  • Simulation
  • Thoracic