Working hours of UK trainee doctors have recently been reduced to 48 hours per week, reducing exposure to clinical cases. As such, there is widespread acceptance that trainees need to train in environments other than the ward or operating theatre in order to gain practical skills. Formalin-fixed cadavers demonstrate gross muscle and nerve anatomy but needle insertion under ultrasound guidance is poor. In contrast, a new development in medical simulation is the use of Thiel-embalmed cadavers, developed by Professor Thiel of the University of Graz, Austria, using a novel preservation technique that retains full flexibility of the limbs. Thiel cadavers have been used to successfully simulate laparoscopic surgery, neurosurgery and oral surgery. This paper investigates, for the first time, the application of ultrasound-based regional anaesthesia to the Thiel cadaver by tracing the course of peripheral nerves, injecting local anaesthetic around nerves, and reproducing inadvertent intraneural injection by injecting preservative directly into the nerve. The Thiel cadaver provides good conditions for anaesthetists to simulate regional anaesthetic block techniques using ultrasound.
McLeod, G., Eisma, R., Schwab, A., Corner, G., Soames, R., & Cochran, S. (2010). An evaluation of Thiel-embalmed cadavers for ultrasound-based regional anaesthesia training and research. Ultrasound, 18(3), 125-129. https://doi.org/10.1258/ult.2010.010016