Piloting the FIRE: A Novel Error Management Training Simulation Curriculum for Fasciotomy Instruction

Brenton R. Franklin*, Christopher Dyke, Steven J. Durning, Anthony R. Artino, Mark W. Bowyer, Matthew D. Nealeigh, Walter B. Kucera, E. Matthew Ritter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Multiple studies have demonstrated poor performance of lower extremity fasciotomy (LEF), highlighted by missed and/or inadequately released compartments. Incorporating error management training (EMT) into surgical simulation has been promoted as a way to gain deeper understanding of procedural errors and overall performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate LEF performance using a Fasciotomy Improvement through Recognition of Errors (FIRE) simulation training curriculum to train novice surgical trainees. Methods: A mastery learning-based EMT curriculum was developed, and surgical residents were enrolled and pretested with a multiple-choice question (MCQ) written test, and a simulated fasciotomy using a lower leg model. Each trainee then watched a 15-minute narrated presentation followed by 2 rounds of fasciotomy error recognition and management training exercises to a mastery standard. During each round, trainees performed hands-on assessment of unique premade fasciotomy leg models containing a variable number of procedural errors. They were required to identify and propose corrective action for all errors. Serial rounds of remediation were implemented until the mastery standard was attained on both error identification rounds. All trainees were post-tested with the same MCQ and another simulated fasciotomy. Results: All 14 residents had minimal experience with only 0.3 ± 0.6 fasciotomies performed prior to instruction. There were 3 ± 1.6 missed or inadequately released compartments on the pretest. Residents examined 14 ± 2.5 legs, including 2 ± 2.5 legs during remediation to attain mastery. All residents demonstrated significant improvement following the FIRE of Error curriculum for the MCQ (57% ± 16% vs 78% ± 13%; p = 0.01; Cohen's d = 1.4), fasciotomy score (10 ± 7.1 vs 28 ± 1.9; p < 0.001; Cohen's d = 3.6), and achieving a complete fasciotomy (14% ± 36% vs 93% ± 27%; p < 0.001; Cohen's d = 2.5). Only a single cumulative compartment was missed on post-testing. Conclusions: Implementation of a mastery learning-based EMT curriculum for fasciotomy simulation training results in significant improvement in fasciotomy technique without reliance on repeated procedure performance nor clinical fasciotomy exposure. This curriculum is a highly effective option for surgical trainees lacking fasciotomy training during residency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • error-management training
  • error-recognition training
  • fasciotomy
  • mastery learning
  • simulation
  • surgical education


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