Using an Individual Procedure Score before and after the Advanced Surgical Skills Exposure for Trauma Course Training to Benchmark a Hemorrhage-Control Performance Metric

Colin F. Mackenzie*, Evan Garofalo, Stacy Shackelford, Valerie Shalin, Kristy Pugh, Hegang Chen, Adam Puche, Jason Pasley, Babak Sarani, Sharon Henry, Mark Bowyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective Test with an individual procedure score (IPS) to assess whether an unpreserved cadaver trauma training course, including upper and lower limb vascular exposure, improves correct identification of surgical landmarks, underlying anatomy, and shortens time to vascular control. Design Prospective study of performance of 3 vascular exposure and control procedures (axillary, brachial, and femoral arteries) using IPS metrics by 2 colocated and trained evaluators before and after training with the Advanced Surgical Skills Exposure for Trauma (ASSET) course. IPS, including identification of anatomical landmarks, incisions, underlying structures, and time to completion of each procedure was compared before and after training using repeated measurement models. Setting Audio-video instrumented cadaver laboratory at University of Maryland School of Medicine. Participants A total of 41 second to sixth year surgical residents from surgical programs throughout Mid-Atlantic States who had not previously taken the ASSET course were enrolled, 40 completed the pre- and post-ASSET performance evaluations. Results After ASSET training, all components of IPS increased and time shortened for each of the 3 artery exposures. Procedure steps performed correctly increased 57%, anatomical knowledge increased 43% and skin incision to passage of a vessel loop twice around the correct vessel decreased by a mean of 2.5 minutes. An overall vascular trauma readiness index, a comprehensive IPS score for 3 procedures increased 28% with ASSET Training. Conclusions Improved knowledge of surface landmarks and underlying anatomy is associated with increased IPS, faster procedures, more accurate incision placement, and successful vascular control. Structural recognition during specific procedural steps and anatomical knowledge were key points learned during the ASSET course. Such training may accelerate acquisition of specific trauma surgery skills to compensate for shortened training hours, infrequent exposure to major vascular injuries, or when just-in-time training is necessary. IPS is a benchmark for competence in extremity vascular control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1289
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015


  • Key Words clinical competence
  • educational measurement instrument
  • hemorrhage-control skill
  • observational evaluation
  • open vascular surgical procedures
  • psychomotor performance
  • resident education


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