Ultrasound Guided Regional Anaesthesia

Ultrasound Guided Regional Anaesthesia: a novel training approach by a multidisciplinary team.

Worldwide leading expert in Ultrasound Guided Regional Anaesthesia (UGRA), Dr Graeme McLeod, is developing a novel training approach to improve trainees and consultants’ skills in UGRA. The novel approach is being developed utilising one of the University of Dundee’s finest facilities at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research (IMAR) to track upper limbs and head motion in synchronous with the latest eye tracking expertise provided by Experimental Psychologist Dr Mel McKendrick of Optimize through a multidisciplinary research funded by a SMART grant from Scottish Enterprise. The project involves the use of Thiel cadavers, which is unique to the Centre of Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) in the UK.

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Left: Placement of retro-reflective markers; Right: Collaborative team including Dr McKendrick (first left) and Dr McLeod (far right).

UGRA offers many benefits to patients compared to general anaesthesia, such as prolonged post-operative pain relief and accelerated rehabilitation, but requires a great deal of clinical training and experience. This collaborative study will train anaesthetists intensively in UGRA using soft-embalmed cadavers and, uniquely measure their competency performing advanced nerve blocks by measuring eye gaze and fine control of hand and head movements. The researchers hope this type of training will become the new standard before conducting UGRA on patients.

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Left: Testing UGRA training techniques; Right: Full system set up.

Professor Rami Abboud, Director of IMAR, stated:

“This is a fascinating project bringing a multidisciplinary team of experts together for the best interest of patients management using the latest high tech motion equipment at IMAR, Optimise and CAHiD to support the vision of a leading UGRA international expert. I had no hesitation in agreeing to this collaboration when I was approached by Dr McLeod as I can see the great translational benefit that this project can lead to, which fits nicely with IMAR's international reputation for clinical, educational and research excellence.”