Background: Needle aspiration of peritonsillar abscess is a routine emergency department procedure that in combination with antimicrobial therapy and hydration results in resolution in more than 89% of cases. When performing a needle aspiration, one unique challenge is potential hemorrhage due to inadvertently puncturing the carotid artery if the needle is advanced too far. Through exposure and practice with medical simulation, emergency medicine residents can gain confidence and proficiency in performing needle aspirations of peritonsillar abscesses.
Objective: To create a low-cost, realistic model of peritonsillar abscesses that can be used to teach safer techniques for needle aspirations. Our simulation model design prioritizes readily accessible supplies, ease of assembly, and anatomical accuracy in order to reinforce procedural risks. Two ways that our simulation model improves on existing peritonsillar abscess models are by introducing procedural risks in regards to a simulated carotid artery and by the novel teaching of a bone wax needle guard.
Methods: Abscesses were constructed from 1-inch bubble wrap filled with yogurt. The carotid artery was constructed by filling small zip lock bags with red colored water. Two “abscesses” were placed inside a disposable cup, covered with red gelatin, and allowed to set overnight. Within a Resusci Anne face mask or Halloween mask, two of the “carotid artery” zip lock bags were placed laterally and the “oropharynx” cup were placed anteriorly at the mouth of the mask.
Outcomes: We plan to use these models during a future procedural simulation date for emergency medicine residents. As such, the full impact of this simulation model has not been established. We do expect that learners will find this model to be very realistic and will have procedural risks reinforced. Total cost per model, excluding reusable face masks, is less than $10. Each cup can be used twice and the cups can be replaced between procedures.