Tofu can be used as a food product, but it has uses in medicine. In particular for the discussion today is its role in point of care ultrasound (POCUS) training. We discuss ways to use this inexpensive product to better improve your education.
Why use tofu versus others models? Commercial products, although very good, are also very expensive and replacement parts are costly. There are other forms of medium for ultrasound training that can be made but they are time consuming and messy. Tofu is nice given its easy portability, access, ease of use, minimal preparation time, and low cost. For a few dollars, people can be trained on applications such as evaluation of abscesses and needle guided procedures such as IV access.
The pictures and videos included are all from Practical POCUS, an education company that provides training to a wide range of medical providers.
In the above picture, a learner is using a Butterfly iQ ultrasound machine to view a straw that is acting as a vein. He is using the IV catheter in the usual approach for venous access by following the needle in a long-axis view. This allows the learner to practice a skill that can be challenging without exposing patients to unnecessary harm.
The above slideshow demonstrates additional IV access attempts including the short-axis approach. Tofu can be used multiple times with minimal damage from the needle insertion. This can allow learners to keep using the same tofu for up to 100 attempts in some cases. Additionally, there are pictures of another learner at an orthopedic surgery course practicing the same skills he would need for arthrocentesis.
In the above GIFs and picture, you can see representations of how tofu looks in practice. Principles such as needle echogenicity, abscess or effusion appearance, effusion measurement, and arthrocentesis can be seen.
It is easy to use and make. A more detailed description of the ways that ultrasound education can benefit from the use of tofu as well as how to create these models are in the podcast. However, check out the quick video above for creating a basic IV phantom.
If you want to see some more ways to use tofu in video format, here is a quick six minute video.
Overall, tofu can be a big friend to those learning and wanting to get back at POCUS. Try it out on your own and see what you think.
Let us know what you think by giving us feedback here in the comments section or contacting us on Twitter or Facebook. Remember to look us up on Libsyn and on iTunes. If you have any questions you can also comment below, email at email@example.com, or send a message from the page. We hope to talk to everyone again soon. Until then, continue to provide total care everywhere.
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