Epidural Simulation for Patients of Various BMI and Body Shapes

N. Vaughan, V.N. Dubey, Michael, Y.K. Wee, Richard Isaacs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This work presents a 3D model of human body shape which can adjust to represent a patient of any body mass or height to enable a patient-specific epidural simulation. The thickness of simulated interspinous and Supraspinous ligament, ligamentum flavum, subcutaneous fat, skin and vertebrae are adjusted with haptic forces generated during needle insertion. Anthropometric measurements of the patient's parameters are used to calculate body mass index, total body water, waist to hip ratio and body circumferences.
    Many medical simulators for epidural needle insertion, laparoscopy, surgery, dentistry, and palpation contain an average body mass manikin which is not adjustable. In vivo, vast differences between patient size and shape such as obesity are evident. Anaesthetists find it difficult in overweight and obese patients to correctly place epidural needle due to difficult palpation, uncertainty locating epidural space and a longer Tuohy needle is required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number030924
    JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2013


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