HomeGrown Solution: Low Cost Neonatal Exchange Transfusion Trainer


Low Cost Neonatal Exchange Transfusion Trainer

Submitted By

Jarrod Young

HomeGrown Solution Number


Identification of the Problem

Neonatal Exchange Transfusion (NET) is a potentially lifesaving procedure that is done to remove excess bilirubin and other antibodies in the blood. With the advent of several other therapies, NET has become a rarity and many trainees may not have performed or seen one being done; however, it continues to be the rescue procedure when all other therapies fail for severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. In order to alleviate this training deficit, our simulation team was task to develop a neonatal exchange transfusion simulator model for acquisition and retention of skills for this life saving procedure for Neonatal healthcare providers. 

Unique Idea

This training model was a deficit in the current market and a need that was addressed by our faculty for Resident training. The creation of this trainer allowed for the Resident staff to switch from a table-top simulation approach to a more hands-on simulation experience. The faculty were in search of a better solution to the acquisition and retention of exchange transfusion skills. The final product was developed in a way that allows the Resident engage in a high-fidelity learning environment for the development of these skills.


The main objectives were to identify the gaps in the current training model, create a hands-on model for both single and double catheter exchange transfusion training, and create with a low cost budget. Our objectives drove the design and planning of the product. We were able to fill the curricular gap with a hands-on model for both single or double catheter exchange transfusion with items that we found unused in our simulation lab.


  1. Repurposed neonatal manikin
  2. Umbilical Vessel Catheters
  3. 50mL spiked IV bag
  4. Tygon flexible polymer tubing (1/16” ID)
  5. Foam block (16.5”x16.5”x2”)
  6. Plastic Tupperware container

Steps to Creating the Solution

  1. Four foam blocks were used to disguise the fluid reservoir as the patient’s bed. The two middle blocks were carved out for a plastic container to hold the spiked IV bag.
  2. The container and IV bag create the fluid reservoir, which acts as the neonate’s blood supply.
  3. The umbilical catheters were run through the neonate and inserted into the Tygon tubing. A separate system was created for the two different methods of exchange transfusion. A small Y-connection splitter allowed for the inclusion of the two catheter design.
  4. The umbilical catheters were connected to the fluid reservoir by a luer lock connection. This allowed for the ability to easily swap between exchange transfusion methods.