The lumbar puncture (LP) procedure is a diagnostic procedure that is performed to identify the root cause behind symptoms which can often be caused by various diseases or infections. Currently, medical students will either perform LPs directly on live patients with only theoretical knowledge of the procedure, or they will first be trained using unrealistic models that give a poor representation of the procedure. Traumatic taps (poorly performed LPs) were found to occur in approximately 15% of adult patients, and 35% in children. To reduce these complications, it is necessary that medical students receive the best training possible, which can be made possible through utilizing advanced design and manufacturing technologies. The training mannequin should be flexible, have realistic tissue force resistance, and be reconfigurable for different body types, and age groups. A parametric CAD model is developed that can be modified to represent key structural dimensions from infant to adults, force testing is conducted on a cadaver to determine the puncture forces, and more realistic ‘tissue’ materials are derived via experimentation as the existing training models have noticeably different resistance characteristics. The individual elements for a new training mannequin solution have been determined. Additive manufacturing processes can readily fabricate the vertebrae and pelvis elements, as well as the specialty molds. A final model assembly, and field testing, needs to be performed.

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