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J Ultrasound. 2008 Dec;11(4):135-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jus.2008.09.002. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Introducing ultrasound-guided vein catheterization into clinical practice: A step-by-step guide for organizing a hands-on training program with inexpensive handmade models.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery and Transplantation, San Martino University Hospital, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.


in English, Italian


Central vein catheterization (CVC) plays a central role in hospital patient management. Compared with the use of traditional anatomical landmarks, ultrasound-guidance is associated with higher CVC success rates, fewer complications, and more rapid central venous access. The use of US-guided CVC in clinical practice has not become widespread, largely because anesthesiology and general surgery residents receive limited training in this technique. To increase the use of US-guided CVC in our surgical department, we organized a hands-on training program based on the use of handmade models.


Three different models were constructed using plastic food-storage containers, segments of rubber tourniquet and silastic tubing (to simulate vessels), and agar gelatin.


The hands-on training course allowed progressive acquisition of the basic hand-eye coordination skills necessary for performing US-guided venipuncture. The overall cost for each model was less than €5.00.


The models described in this report are useful tools for teaching US-guided CVC. Thanks to their low-cost, they can be widely used to facilitate the introduction of this technique in clinical practice.


Central vein catheterization; Handmade models; Training; Ultrasound

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