Anaesthetists need to be trained on how to introduce fiberscope equipment to patients while keeping airways open. Currently they do this by using dummies and recording the time it takes to insert tubing into the dummy. However this method often can give an unrealistic practice experience as the pathways are not adaptable and so techniques are not developed fully. Fibreoptic intubation is an essential skill for the management of difficult airways and practiced by anaesthetists of all levels of experience.
Swansea University have marketed an invention, which was developed by an anaesthetist and delivers an adaptable means of training that can give a more realistic feel to introducing intubation devices into bodies. This novel training device is a means of improving the psychomotor skills involved in the manipulation of a fibreoptic endoscope. The design consists of a box that contains a wide range of courses of variable difficulty which the participant must navigate using the fibreoptic scope. The box is screened so that participants can only see the course through the eyepiece of the scope. An infrared timer automatically starts when the scope is inserted into the device and stops when the scope exits the last hole. Research has evidenced the enhanced dexterity obtained by trainees.
This invention can be used as a teaching aid, and could potentially be a means of competency-based assessment of an anaesthetist's fiberscope skill. The technology can also be used to train users in other endoscope procedures.
A patent has been granted for this invention and product is ready for commercialisation. Interest is being sought from potential commercial partners.
Inventors: Aidan Byrne & David Williams