The use of joints of meat as phantoms for ultrasound-guided needling skills : a prospective blinded study

Samuel, Jasmine and Kerr, Euan and Young, David and Watson, Malcolm and Raj, Diana (2022) The use of joints of meat as phantoms for ultrasound-guided needling skills : a prospective blinded study. The Ultrasound Journal, 14 (1). 14. ISSN 2524-8987 (

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Background -- Needle visualisation during ultrasound-guided procedures is a skill that can be difficult to practise, with commercially available phantoms being expensive and often unrealistic. Our aim was to find an inexpensive, reproducible model that could be used to assist in developing this skill. Methods -- Pork shoulder, beef brisket, and lamb shoulder joints were compared to a standard blue ultrasound phantom. Five ‘chunky’ yarn pieces were twisted together and threaded through each joint to simulate hyperechoic nerves. Participants were instructed to ultrasound each specimen and insert a needle close to a nerve like structure. Using a visual analogue scale, specimens were scored based on realism of appearances of ultrasound images and ‘feel’ of needling. Results -- 38 people participated. All specimens of meat scored significantly higher than the blue phantom (p = 0.01). There was no significant difference between the different types of meat. Conclusions -- Pork, beef and lamb joints are an effective model to use for simulation training for needling skills. They have limited lifespan, but due to its relatively low cost, it is feasible to discard the meat after each training workshop. We hope the use of inexpensive meat products will make ultrasound simulation training simpler to organise and more effective.


Samuel, Jasmine, Kerr, Euan, Young, David ORCID logoORCID:, Watson, Malcolm and Raj, Diana;