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West J Emerg Med. 2010 Sep;11(4):302-5.

Prospective durability testing of a vascular access phantom.

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  • 1Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA.



We assessed the acoustic transmission, image quality, and vessel integrity of the Blue Phantom™ 2 Vessel Original Ultrasound Training Model with repeated use.


The study consisted of two phases. During the first phase, a portion of the Blue Phantom™ rubber matrix (without a simulated vessel) was placed over a two-tiered echogenic structure and was repeatedly punctured with a hollow bore 18-gauge needle in a 1 cm(2) area. During the second phase, a portion of the matrix with a simulated vessel was repeatedly punctured with another hollow bore 18-gauge needle. During both phases we obtained an ultrasound image using a high-frequency linear probe after every 100 needle punctures to assess the effect of repeated needle punctures on image quality, acoustic transmission, and simulated vessel integrity.


Testing on the rubber matrix alone (first phase) without a vessel demonstrated a gradual decrease in image quality and visualization of the proximal and distal portions of the target structure, but they remained visible after 1,000 needle punctures. The second phase demonstrated excellent acoustic transmission and image quality on both transverse and longitudinal images of the rubber matrix and simulated vessel after 1,000 needle punctures. The anterior and posterior vessel walls and needle tip were well visualized without any signs of vessel leakage on still images or with compression and power Doppler.


The Blue Phantom™ 2 Vessel Original Ultrasound Training Model demonstrated excellent durability after 1,000 needle punctures in a 1- cm(2) area. Based on the length of simulated vessel in each model, it should support over 25,000 simulated attempts at vascular access.

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