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Ultrasound Detection of Simulated Intra-Ocular Foreign Bodies by Minimally Trained Personnel

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Sargsyan AE, Dulchavsky AG, Adams J, Melton S, Hamilton DR, Dulchavsky SA. Ultrasound detection of simulated intra-ocular foreign bodies by minimally trained personnel. Aviat Space Environ Med 2008; 79:58–61.



Purpose: To test the ability of non-expert ultrasound operators of divergent backgrounds to detect the presence, size, location, and composition of foreign bodies in an ocular model. Methods: High school students (N = 10) and NASA astronauts (N = 4) completed a brief ultrasound training session which focused on basic ultrasound principles and the detection of foreign bodies. The operators used portable ultrasound devices to detect foreign objects of varying location, size (0.5–2 mm), and material (glass, plastic, metal) in a gelatinous ocular model. Operator findings were compared to known foreign object parameters and ultrasound experts (N = 2) to determine accuracy across and between groups. Results: Ultrasound had high sensitivity (astronauts 85%, students 87%, and experts 100%) and specificity (astronauts 81%, students 83%, and experts 95%) for the detection of foreign bodies. All user groups were able to accurately detect the presence of foreign bodies in this model (astronauts 84%, students 81%, and experts 97%). Astronaut and student sensitivity results for material (64% vs. 48%), size (60% vs. 46%), and position (77% vs. 64%) were not statistically different. Experts’ results for material (85%), size (90%), and position (98%) were higher; however, the small sample size precluded statistical conclusions. Conclusions: Ultrasound can be used by operators with varying training to detect the presence, location, and composition of intraocular foreign bodies with high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.
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Keywords: astronaut; education; foreign-bodies; high school student; ocular; ultrasound

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From Wyle Laboratories, Houston, TX (A. Sargsyan, S. Melton, D. Hamilton); Grosse Pointe High School, Grosse Pointe, MI (A. Dulchavsky, J. Adams); and the Department of Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI (S. Dulchavsky).

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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