Blood Pressure Cuff Hack

09/12/2016

Blog post by SimGHOSTS Community Director Nick Brauer

Blood Pressure Cuff Hack

Has your blood pressure cuff gone missing for your favorite simulator? What? You have misplaced how many? Before forking out $150 - $200 on a cuff it’s possible the needed parts may be laying around your sim center. If you have not already done so, I recommend keeping a plastic bin of spare parts both new and used. While some of the items may initially seem trivial, a day will come when a specific part is used for project “Repair Me”.

While the major vendors for high-fidelity mannequins make great products the parts can be rather costly or unavailable to the consumer. The cuff sold for SimMan 3g/Essential is nothing extraordinary, while available, it costs $160. A similar cuff from Pocket Nurse is $17 less a slight modification. Retrofitting a working cuff to work with SimMan only requires a few additional parts 1) 3-Way T Connector and 2) Coupling with 1/8” In-Line Hose Barb.

If the parts are not on-hand they can be easily ordered online from various vendors/manufacturers. Couplings are available in various barb sizes and as well as with and without a valve. For this application barb size 1/8” was used no valve was necessary. Most local hardware or auto parts stores have T-connectors. (See Image 1).

Colder Products Company

ARK-PLAS

Omega

 

Modification Process:

  1. Cut the hose between the bulb and the cuff. It is recommend to cut the hose closer to the cuff as it will allow for a more discrete connection when installed on SimMan.
  2. Insert T-Connector – the barb at 90° will connect to the mannequin and the barbs on the same axis will connect the bulb and cuff.
  3. The hose accessing the mannequin’s air source is best to be 12 – 16 inches to allow for arm movement. On the hose-end going to SimMan insert the barbed end of the coupling. The assemble items will resemble Image 2.
  4. After the parts are assembled it is ready to be installed and tested. Per Laerdal’s recommendation, it is encouraged to calibrate the BP any time the cuff is removed & re-installed on SimMan 3G.

At the end of the day this blood pressure cuff modification was extremely simple. The cost savings was approximately $320 for two cuffs. The time required to retrofit and test was less than 15 minutes and thus well worth the effort. If you have any simulator hacks, tips or tricks PLEASE share in our SimGHOSTS discussion forums.