This resource is a manikin-based simulation case involving a 55-year-old motorcycle rider who was involved in a high-speed collision. He is brought to the emergency room complaining of left-sided chest pain. After a brief period of stabilization, his condition deteriorates as he develops a tension pneumothorax. He subsequently requires needle decompression followed by tube thoracostomy. This resource is one of three respiratory simulation cases developed as part of a second-year medical school pharmacology curriculum. These cases were developed to help medical students integrate basic science principles taught in traditional lectures with real-life clinical scenarios. In this scenario, the learner needs to rapidly assess a patient with a pneumothorax and know different types of local analgesia and their potential side effects in a trauma patient. Finally, the learner must be able to discuss the anatomy of chest tube insertion and then perform a needle decompression of a tension pneumothorax. This simulation scenario has been used by approximately 180 second-year medical students. The feedback we have received has been very favorable, with many of the students requesting that we incorporate more simulation exercises into the basic science curriculum.
By the end of this simulation, learners will be able to:
- Develop a plausible differential diagnosis from the history and physical examination findings for the scenario.
- Choose a treatment plan to resolve the patient-simulator’s condition.
© 2010 Beck et al.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives license.
Beck J, Romo C, Denmark K. Pharmacology simulation scenario: tension pneumothorax. MedEdPORTAL. 2010;6:7966. https:/
doi. org/ 10. 15766/ mep_ 2374- 8265. 7966