Cadavers in Medical Training

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    Study Confirms the Validity of Cadaver Training for Emergency Medicine

Study Confirms the Validity of Cadaver Training for Emergency Medicine

In recent years as educational curricula have become more sophisticated, an increasing number of residents are expected to perform competently based on skills learned through simulation. Various simulation methods look good on paper. They are lower cost and more readily available than cadaver-based educational training. While this may be true, there are benefits to cadaver use that cannot be overstated. Here, we discuss the findings of a recent study that measured variables among a small group of emergency medicine residents after exposure to cadaver training versus simulation.

The pilot study that sought to discern the outcomes of cadaver training in comparison to simulation involved twenty-two senior emergency medicine residents. Participants had already completed their standard simulation training in tube thoracostomy and cricothyrotomy. After then performing these low-frequency procedures on cadavers, participants were surveyed regarding the accuracy of training. A 100-point visual analog scale provided necessary data to compare equality between the two scenarios, with 100 being equal. Additionally, participants estimated if comfort level with the performance of each of the procedures improved and, if so, how much. This was reported on a scale of 0% to 100%.

One-hundred percent of participants responded via survey. For the cricothyrotomy procedure, respondents measured the constancy of simulation training at 34.7 ± 13.4. The rating for cadaver training in cricothyrotomy was 79.9 ± 7.0. The simulation rating for tube thoracostomy was 38.4 ± 19.3 vs. 86 ± 8.6 for cadaver training. Comfort levels for both procedures improved an average of 78.5% among all participants, who cited superior tissue integrity as a critical aspect of care.

Med Ed Labs was established to advance knowledge and clinical skills across several fields of medicine. We believe that the more accurate the training model, the […]

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    Cadavers Play an Integral Role in the Future of Plastic Surgery

Cadavers Play an Integral Role in the Future of Plastic Surgery

The importance of clinical training is relevant to every area of medicine. While plastic surgery is largely perceived as “cosmetic” by the average consumer, it is much more. The plastic surgeon must have familiarity with deep planes of tissue, bone, fascia, nerves, and other structures of the face and body. While we have witnessed dramatic shifts in the education of new surgeons, we have yet to see an alternative to cadaver training. The reason is simple, the objectives of surgical training are better met when the anatomical specimen closely resembles an operative specimen.
The Value of Cadavers in Plastic Surgery Training
Plastic surgery is the repair or reconstruction of one or more parts of the face or body. Plastic surgeons may perform many rejuvenating procedures, such as facelift surgery. However, they also treat women who have undergone mastectomy surgery. They repair tissue that has been badly damaged in a traumatic event, such as a fire or dog attack. Some plastic surgeons are extending their technical skills into the area of transplant surgeries. The work performed by a plastic surgeon, then, dramatically affects their patients’ quality of life.

The success that plastic surgeons have achieved to date has been largely attributed to working with cadavers. This is a logical perspective, seeing that the basis of most plastic surgery procedures is to reposition tissue from one area to another. To fully understand the three-dimensional relationship of anatomical structures, a surgeon needs a lifelike model, and there is no model like the human body. In this way, cadavers play an integral role in the success of plastic surgery procedures. They are also a partner in building surgical confidence in a safe, controlled environment.

We’ve all heard unfortunate stories of botched plastic […]

Why Cadavers are Integral to Quality Medical Training

Human cadaver training has provided meaningful service to medical students for many years. The approach to educating new physicians, as well as those with many years under their belts, may have changed over time thanks to new technologies, but this does not diminish the value of the occasional cadaver lab. Here, we discuss the reasons that cadaver training continues to be the gold standard and why this may never change.

Hands-on experience is vital to good medicine. Yes, discussion and nomenclature are necessary. However, practicing medicine requires touch. It requires knowledge of the variations in human anatomy from one person to another. This is especially vital for surgeons and is also necessary for those developing or using medical devices. Cadaver labs coupled with lecture brings learning full-circle.
No two bodies are the same. Of course, every medical student and physician knows this. But sometimes it is forgotten in the day to day realities of medical practice. Cadaver labs remind medical professionals that every body looks different and responds differently to medical therapies and that these nuances must be considered to accomplish the best patient outcomes.
Cadavers put clinicians face-to-face with a wide variety of pathologies in an educational setting. It isn’t enough to know the natural, normal anatomy of the body, medical providers must also know pathology and how it can look different in each patient.
Appreciation for the human body. Interestingly, cadaver training has been said to increase medical students’ appreciation for donations made to science. Moreover, clinical practice utilizing cadavers reminds practitioners that the human body deserves respect and gentleness at all times, perhaps especially when dealing with disease. In this sense, cadavers can enhance compassionate care.

Where Cadavers Come From
Students understand that […]

There is More to Cadaver Training than You May Realize

For hundreds of years, the medical community has recognized the value of anatomy as an integral component of education. Without the study of anatomy, a healthcare professional, including a paramedic or other first responder, may have a more difficult time retaining clinical knowledge and skills. To support academic development, medical institutions have implemented various techniques revolving around anatomy and physiology. In our tech-savvy society, virtual reality techniques have become commonplace. For a more realistic application, some institutions have implemented the use of plastic models. Respectfully, we argue that neither can adequately prepare a medical professional for what they may face on the job; that anything less than cadaver training is lacking.

The cadaveric component of institutional learning provides students with the tactile and visual experience of human anatomical structures. It also exposes students to the innate variability that exists in human morphology. No less important, exposure to human cadavers takes students beyond the conceptual experience of dissection before beginning surgical rotations.
Anatomy is Only One Aspect of Dissection Skills
Any healthcare professional who has been on the job for a length of time can attest to the psychological and emotional response that may occur when exposed to human cadavers. Numerous med students have documented their reaction to working with human cadavers, specifically noting their emotional – and sometimes physical – experience. Some of these experiences are positive and some are negative. Approximately 7% of first-year med students report experiencing recurring images of their cadaver specimens post dissection. As many as 5% experience intrusive images that affect learning capacity. This is not something we should look at as a negative aspect of cadaver lab experiences.

Educational and cognitive psychology teaches us that emotions can directly affect how an individual […]

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    First Responders Benefit from Bioskills Training Using Cadavers

First Responders Benefit from Bioskills Training Using Cadavers

As technologies have improved, an increasing number of healthcare personnel receive training that is heavily reliant on simulation. Additionally, mannequins have improved in an effort to increase their lifelikeness. However advantageous current training may be for professionals like EMS and other first responders, there is no way that either virtual reality nor mannequins can replicate the variances of human anatomy. Multiple studies have indicated that surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals demonstrate improved anatomical knowledge after participating in some type of cadaver training. Now, the same is being said of first responders.

Similar to bioskills training courses for surgeons, physicians, and nurses, cadaver training for first responders takes textbook knowledge and translates it into hands-on practice. Listening and watching only takes one so far in their educational advancement. For skills to become fully integrated takes practice. Those who are on the front-lines of medical emergencies have precious minutes in which to make important decisions for their patients. Their skills need to be integrated quickly, preferably before they engage in real-time situations.

Cadaver training for first responders presents the opportunity to practice life-saving interventions such as intubation, chest decompression, emergency tracheotomy, cricothyrotomy, and inter-osteo procedures. These interventions, performed on plastic simulations, provide technical understanding but fall short of enabling the EMT or other professional to fully understand what it is like to work on a human body.

Med Ed Labs is proud to offer cadaver training lab services to paramedics, EMT trainees, fire department personnel, and all other first responders. Hands-on training with a cadaver provides the most realistic experience for healthcare providers. The familiarity with human tissue and internal organs that is gained through cadaver training significantly increases situational awareness during real-life emergencies.

Learn more about our national […]

Human Cadaver Training and the Issue of Ethics

For years, the use of human and animal models has provided medical students and licensed physicians with invaluable information and education. Cadavers have been used to educate medical students on human anatomy and to enable physicians to observe the body in a way that does not put a patient at risk. Cadaver training is essential to optimal patient outcomes and to the basics of the doctor-patient relationship. Even in light of years of evidence which points to the value of cadaver training, this area of medical education is somewhat controversial.

Alternatives to Cadaver Training

Historically, the alternative to human cadaver dissection and training has been the good old textbook. However, there could be no textbook content if cadaver training had not existed first. Additionally, one cannot know what it looks like or feels like to perform a surgical procedure or even a nonsurgical treatment on live human tissue by reading a textbook.

The more modern approach to teaching anatomical nuances is for students to conduct processes and procedures using virtual reality. Proponents for this way of learning warn of the ethical and safety issues of using human cadavers for bioskill training. We’d like to respond to common theories on these matters.

Ethical Questions Regarding Cadaver Procurement

Some say that there is an obscure industry in which vendors have profited from the sale of cut and intact human tissue for research purposes due to the fact that most states do not have laws against the sale or purchase of body parts. This sounds ominous and dark and is promoted in a way that may call into question the ethics of medical research. Med Ed Labs was established to assist professionals ranging from physicians to support staff to medical sales representatives […]

Cadavers Hold Value in the World of Aesthetic Medicine

A few decades ago, there was no such thing as aesthetic medicine. We had general surgeons, specialists, and plastic surgeons. To regain a more youthful appearance meant seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon for a facelift. Now, we not only have nuanced procedures such as neck lifts, eyelid lifts, and brow lifts but we also have a plethora of nonsurgical modalities from which patients can choose to address specific cosmetic concerns. Hence, the field of aesthetic medicine was born.

Once the development of nonsurgical treatments began, innovation has not stopped. At this time, we are seeing yet another dermal filler on the horizon. In the works by a subsidiary of Silk, Inc., this new filler differs from those that are currently popular in its active ingredient. Where many of the dermal fillers used today have a base ingredient of hyaluronic acid, this new filler, as you may have guessed, is made of silk. According to the developer, the product is made of pure silk protein in an Activated silk suspension.

Why would doctors consider another soft tissue filler option for their patients? Silk, Inc. is banking on values such as comfort, flexibility, and duration. The product’s maker believes that patients may have fewer and less intense side effects from the silk ingredient. Also, like the hyaluronic acid fillers used today, this new filler will provide the flexibility to treat various areas and achieve a range of timeframes for results, from 3 months to 2 years.

Where Cadavers Fit into All of This

Cadavers have been widely used for years in undergraduate and postgraduate educational programs. This method of training is recognized for its relevance to surgeons and other specialists but not so much for the value […]

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    Cadavers Facilitate the Ongoing Learning of Today’s Cardiac Surgeon

Cadavers Facilitate the Ongoing Learning of Today’s Cardiac Surgeon

Ongoing Learning of Today’s Cardiac Surgeon
In the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Marc Pelletier and colleagues discussed the ways in which the field of cardiac surgery is rapidly evolving. One of the most significant and beneficial changes taking place is the widespread availability of interventional cardiac procedures. This singular transit from corrective to interventional is having a profound impact on how cardiologists provide care. This, in turn, is affecting the aspects of training a doctor needs to focus on in the foreseeable future.

Surgery as Art

Cardiac surgery requires comprehensive familiarity with the structural anatomy of the heart as well as with the artistry of cardiac interventions. Essentially, the cardiologist must have wiring skills that are above-average. Wiring skill is presented in almost every cardiac procedure and cannot be stressed enough. According to Pelletier and his colleagues, a cardiac surgeon should dedicate at least a few months of their initial training to wire skills. Beyond this, ongoing education remains a critical aspect of high-level patient care.

Simulation

There aren’t many medical specialties in which there is no mention of simulation as a beneficial means of continued education. What needs to be considered is the value of the various types of simulation available today. Due to immense improvement in digital fidelity, there has been a large push to integrate virtual reality simulators into medical education. As convenient as virtual reality is, and as detailed as this technique has become, there are limitations that cannot be overcome in the digital realm. The cardiac surgeon needs ongoing training that mimics real-world practice as much as possible. The best way to achieve this has been and quite possibly may always be to engage in cadaver […]

How Cadaver Training Serves Medical Science and Development

The study of human cadaver tissues has served medicine well over the years. We routinely offer courses and supply adequate facilities for cadaver training revolving around cosmetic, orthopedic, and internal medicine procedures. Additionally, research indicates that cadaver labs provide valuable insights to companies interested in the development of medical devices.

Information is integral to development. With human cadaver training, it is possible to discern quite a lot about a procedure or device, including details such as:

Optimal placement of a device in actual human anatomy
Accurate spatial relationships between a device and its accessories and anatomical structures
Dimensional compatibility between new technology and human anatomy

Advanced Benefits to Further Innovation
Cadaver labs aren’t all about the tissue, as one may expect. This learning environment may also incorporate imaging equipment, surgical and interventional supplies, and other equipment that facilitates the fullest extent of observation possible. The implementation of appropriate mechanisms allows manufacturers to observe essential details relating to tissue/device interface, including how loading conditions will affect device performance.

Cadaver training improves development by alleviating guesswork:

Clinical testing performed on animal models is insufficient due to the significant anatomical differences that exist between animals and humans.
Animal models are not an accurate representation of the physiological disease states that exist in human anatomy.
Posture differences in animals (quadrupeds) and humans (bipeds) can affect device demonstration.

Innovation in the area of medical devices is integral to the ongoing improvement in patient outcomes. Med Ed Labs understands the value of research and development in the betterment of the medical community as a whole. Our team has been conducting successful human cadaver labs around the country for several years. The use of cadaver labs can assist with procedure discussion, identification of disease states and […]

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    Study Suggests the Value of Cadaver Labs in Orthopedic Training

Study Suggests the Value of Cadaver Labs in Orthopedic Training

Surgical simulation is a vital aspect of training residents in various specialties, including orthopedic surgery. This training provides exposure to surgical techniques, to the direct feedback of senior colleagues and peers. While simulation is valuable, the classic approach to surgical education is superseded by innovation in training modalities such as cadaver labs. According to research, the cadaver lab is a more objective tool than simulation, virtual reality, and animal models, and is attributed to the progression of surgical competency in orthopedic residents.

It is believed that sessions in a cadaver lab provide valuable surgical training that is only outdone by live surgery. Two procedures commonly performed in the cadaver lab include arthroscopy and arthroplasty, both of which require in-depth anatomical awareness not only of the structures of the knee joint but also of how they are manipulated during physical movement. Researchers have concluded that there is no way to accurately reproduce the complex aspects of joint replacements outside of the cadaver lab. Virtual reality simulation is included in this theory. But what about clinical practice?

In one recent study, researchers observed basic information regarding the use of cadaver laboratory practice in orthopedic surgery education. Researchers wanted to measure the value of cadaver training in the areas of implementation and trainee-interest. To do so, a survey was given to all orthopedic residents of the cadaver lab at the Italian Society of the Knee, Arthroscopy, Sports Traumatology, Cartilage and Orthopaedic Technology. Feedback was requested from just over 100 students who attended between 2013-2016.

According to data collected, 38 of 102 students returned their survey to researchers after the completion of their cadaver training. Of those 38 responses, 18 trainees focused their cadaver training on lower limb surgeries, and 20 […]

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