South Med J. 2020 Dec;113(12):614-617. doi: 10.14423/SMJ.0000000000001187.
OBJECTIVES: Ultrasound (US)-only confirmation of central venous catheter (CVC) placement has proven to be accurate and fast when compared with the current standard chest radiograph. This procedure depends on the detection of appropriately timed atrial bubbles during central line flushing, called the rapid atrial swirl sign (RASS). The most obvious barrier to increasing the use of this technique is appropriate education and training; therefore, we proposed a novel educational approach to training emergency department (ED) physicians in the confirmation of CVC location using US and then tested its effectiveness.
METHODS: Using an online educational model, participants were taught the background and procedural steps to confirm CVC placement using US. Subsequently, they were asked to use this knowledge to place central lines in simulation and confirm them using US. They were tested with various scenarios, including correctly and incorrectly placed lines. Their accuracy was measured, and a survey was used to assess their satisfaction with the training and applicability to practice.
RESULTS: A total of 47 ED physicians completed the online training module and 24 completed the simulation testing that followed. Results showed 100% accuracy in detecting appropriately timed RASS (<2 seconds), delayed RASS (>2 seconds), and no RASS in simulation. All of the participants "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that the didactic and simulation sessions improved their understanding of US confirmation of central line placement.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of US to confirm central line placement can be effectively taught to ED physicians using short didactic and simulation-based training. This is a reasonable approach to integrate this protocol into practice, and allow for more widespread use of this emerging technique.