Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration – A Critical Invasive Procedure

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A bone marrow biopsy and aspiration procedure is performed when a detailed report of the condition of the bone marrow and blood cells is required. This test report can help doctors diagnose and monitor bone and marrow diseases, including certain types of cancers. 

Why perform this procedure 

Aspiration and biopsy are usually performed when a patient’s blood reports seem abnormal and provide insufficient data to define symptoms and diseases. These problems could be anything ranging from Anemia, fevers of unknown origin, hemochromatosis, blood or bone marrow cancers, cancers that may have spread from other parts of the body. 

Bone marrow samples are also collected for medical procedures like stem cell transplant or chromosomal analysis. 

What does the procedure involve 

The bone marrow contains a fluid and a solid portion. In a biopsy a small amount of the solid is withdrawn while in an aspiration a small amount of the fluid is taken out. Both samples are withdrawn using a needle. It is also possible to perform only aspiration but usually it is a combined procedure. Together they are also referred to as bone marrow exam. 

The most often used area for this procedure is the posterior superior iliac spine. The procedure involves identifying the parts of a needle, locating a sampling site and marking it. The needle can be directly inserted into the site or a slight incision can be made to facilitate bone access. The needle is inserted into the bone by rotating it on its axis. After obtaining the aspirate the needle is withdrawn and sample slides are prepared for examination. 

If a practitioner or nurse is unable to obtain aspirate from one location, a new insertion at an alternate location may be required. Pressure dressing is applied on the insertion site after procedure completion. 

Skill perfection with MedVR Education 

Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration are invasive procedures and require detailed and precise knowledge as well as ample practice. In order to help critical care nurses perfect their performance, MedVR Education provides practice sessions in the following skills. 

1. Bone Marrow Aspiration- Bone marrow aspiration involves withdrawing the fluid portion of the marrow using a Jamshidi aspiration needle.  This procedure involves numbing the location, cleaning and locating the incision site, performing the incision and post-incision care steps. All steps in the program are carefully designed with adequate affordances to enable smooth and efficient performance of the task. 

2. Bone Marrow Biopsy – Biopsy is performed soon after the aspiration procedure. Using a Jamshidi needle, a stylet is inserted to withdraw the solid marrow sample. In this Bone Marrow Biopsy training session, learners get to practice inserting the needle in the insertion site and collecting sample in a stylet. With adequate affordances required for the procedure, every learner is encouraged to practice each step of the procedure to gain confidence and perfection in performing the task in a real-life set up. 

Importance of practicing with MedVR Education 

Although all bone marrow biopsies and aspirations are safe procedures, there may be rare cases of complications which my result in bruising or pain, prolonged bleeding or infection at the insertion site. The risks of complications increase if the patient has other underlying illnesses. On an otherwise healthy patient the chances of complications are minimal, provided the procedure is performed efficiently with care and caution. This can be achieved with constant and thorough practice and this is where VR simulations training with MedVR Education can prove to be very helpful. 

Due to the many benefits it offers, MedVR Education helps gain expertise and refine existing skills. 

Safe practicing environments are provided in virtual reality with virtual patients 

The photorealistic replicas of actual locations provide a close-to-reality experience 

Multiple practice sessions allow ample scope to perfect skills 

Customized feedback from the instructor can help erase problem areas

Self-analysis of performance is facilitated via the web-based dashboard

Easy to access VR simulation training programs can be remotely delivered to headsets and updated as and when needed

Affordable programs make these VR trainings accessible to all

Detailed instructions and activities with adequate affordances lead to thorough practice sessions 

In-depth knowledge complemented with a steady hand help efficiently perform critical care procedures like bone marrow biopsy and aspiration. Practicing with MedVR Education will help learners gain the much-required refined skills to perform this delicate and detailed procedure. 

Contact us to know more about VR in healthcare training, or visit our MedVR Education webpage to explore the various programs we offer.