Life/form® by Nasco Healthcare
Arterial Puncture Arm
Instruction Manual
Arterial Puncture Arm - LF00995
Nasco Healthcare
901 Janesville Avenue, P.O. Box 901 • Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0901
1.800.431.4310 • • Email: [email protected]

About the Simulator

The Life/form® Arterial Puncture Arm Simulator is the most realistic training simulator possible for demonstrating and practicing arterial injections. Visual as well as tactile realism is designed into this training aid to allow students to develop the skills necessary to learn how to draw arterial blood samples.

Both radial and brachial arterial punctures can be practiced. The arterial system provides pulsation to allow proper practice in locating arteries. (See figure 1.)

Figure 1


Great effort has been put into the development and design of this medical simulator to provide maximum realism and durability. Careful selection of synthetic tubing has been made to provide the most realistic sensation of puncture possible while still maintaining durability for long life. With proper care, your Life/form® Arterial Puncture Arm Simulator will provide years of valuable service. Please review the instructions carefully.

List of Components

  • Life/form® Skin and Artery Kit
  • Two 3 cc Syringes with Needles
  • IV Supply Bag
  • Two Replacement Sections of Artery
  • Life/form® Arterial Blood – 1 Pint

General Instructions for Use

A. Prepare the Synthetic Arterial Blood

Concentrated blood colorant is provided. Fill the 16-oz. container with tap water for proper dilution. (See figure 2.)

Figure 2 - left side; Figure 3 - right side

FIGURE 2 - left side; FIGURE 3 - right side

B. Fill the IV Supply Bag

Pour diluted Life/form® Arterial Blood into the IV bag. (See figure 3.) Hang the bag at 18" height. To minimize leakage in tubing, keep the elevation of the fluid bags as low as possible during operation.

C. Connect the IV Bag to the Arm

The IV bag is supplied with a connector to fit the end of the tubing protruding from the arm. Connect as shown. Be certain the flow control clamp on IV bag is closed. (See figure 4.)

Figure 4


D. Fill the Arterial System

  1. Hold the open tubing end over an empty container with the white pinch clamp on the arm open.
  2. Squeeze the bulb and hold.
  3. Open the flow control clamp on the IV bag. When the blood coming from the IV bag has passed the squeeze bulb, close the white pinch clamp on the arm. (See figure 5.)
    Figure 5

    FIGURE 5

  4. Release the squeeze bulb, then reopen the white pinch clamp on the arm.
  5. Allow the blood to continue through the system and out the open tube end until the air bubbles are gone.
  6. Close the white pinch clamps on the arm and on the IV bag.

E. Ready for Use

The arterial system is now ready for use. (See figure 6.) A series of contractions of the squeeze bulb will create a pulse. With a little practice, a very realistic pulse will be prominent at both the radial and brachial sites.

Figure 6


Procedures That Can Be Performed on This Simulator

A. Radial Arterial Puncture

The artery is superficial and easily palpated. Confirmation of arterial blood is done as in actual practice by checking color and pulsing in the syringe. (See figure 7.)

Figure 7


B. Brachial Arterial Puncture

The simulated artery in the training arm is NOT superficial. The simulated artery in the training arm is approximately 1.5 cm below the surface. By aiming the needle directly at the strongest pulsation, a student should successfully penetrate the artery.

Confirmation of needle placement by the color of blood and pulsation in the syringe should be encouraged. (See figure 8.)

Figure 8


Care of the Simulator

A. General Care and Use of the Arm

The usable life of the skin and tubing will vary depending on such factors as the size of the needles used, distribution of the punctures, and the general care and use of the arm. Below are some suggestions for use and care of the Life/form® Arterial Puncture Arm Simulator which will help prolong the useful life of the skin and simulated arteries.

  1. Needles
    A hypodermic needle is actually a very small cutting tool. Puncturing the skin and artery with needles forms slits or cuts which will eventually lead to deterioration. The larger the needle, the larger the cut made in the skin and tubing. Use of 22-gauge or smaller needles is recommended. Always use sharp needles. Dull or blunt needles cause unnecessary damage.
  2. Distribution of Punctures
    If the injections can be distributed along the length of the injection sites without deviation from acceptable practice, the product will last longer.
  3. Height of the IV Bag
    Fluid pressure increases as the height of the bag increases. A height of 18" above the arm provides a realistic “flashback.” Elevating the bag higher raises the pressure and will cause additional leakage through previous puncture holes.
  4. IV Solutions
    Use only water or Life/form® Arterial Blood. Use of other solutions may block the tubing.
  5. Site Preparation
    Clean water is recommended for swabbing injection sites and will help lubricate the skin surface to minimize damage from punctures. Alcohol, iodine, or other antiseptics are not recommended, as they will stain the skin permanently.
  6. Cleaning
    Use a mild solution of Ivory® liquid detergent and water to clean the surface of the skin. Use Nasco Cleaner (LF09919U) to remove stubborn stains from the simulator. Simply apply Nasco Cleaner to the soiled area and wipe clean with soft cloth or paper towels.

B. Storing the Simulator

  1. Disconnect the IV bag, making sure the clamp is closed. Place the tubing end in the pint bottle and open the clamp to drain.
  2. Rinse the IV bag.
  3. Open the pinch clamp and drain the arm. Tip the hand up until the fluid is removed. Always flush the tubing with water after use. Rinse the exterior with water and dry it with a soft cloth or paper towel. Place the arm in the storage bag. Store the arm in the carrying case.

C. Repair of Tubing Punctures

Due to the thin wall of the tubing and the pressure of the pulsation of the arterial system, leakage is likely after repeated punctures.

Additional replacement latex tubing sections are included with the simulator to renew the arterial system. Refer to the instructions for skin replacement.

Tubing Sealant (LF01099U) is included with the product and will significantly reduce leakage of tubing when applied regularly. Always flush the tubing with water before attempting the sealing procedure. See the instructions on the container.

D. Skin and Artery Replacement

1. Removing the used skin and arterial tubing from the arm

  1. Untie the lace from the base of the arm.
  2. Lubricate the EXTERIOR of the skin using baby powder.
  3. Peel the skin off carefully, turning inside out. (See figure 9.)
    Figure 9

    FIGURE 9

  4. Remove the foam pad at the antecubital fossa.
  5. Disconnect the arterial tubing at the antecubital fossa and at the wrist.

2. Installing the new arterial tubing

  1. Slide each end of precut length of replacement tubing securely over the connectors.
  2. To secure the connections, roll the O-rings over tubing after connecting to fittings.
  3. Place the foam pad over the arterial tubing at the antecubital fossa. (See figure 10.)
    Figure 10

    FIGURE 10

  4. Make sure that the white wrapped sections of tubing are over the injection areas.

3. Lubricating the new skin

Pour lubricant into the skin and swish so all surfaces are covered. (See figure 11.)

Figure 11


4. Installing the replacement skin

  1. Slide the skin over the hand of the core. Be certain the palm of the hand and core are in the same position.
  2. Grasp the skin with both hands, as illustrated, and slide the skin over the core until the fingers of the core approach the finger holes of the skin. (See figure 12.) (During this step, be certain the tubing remains in the proper channels.)
    Figure 12

    FIGURE 12

    CAUTION: Excessive pulling on the end of the skin may stretch or tear material.
  3. Work the fingers into place. (See figure 13.)
    Figure 13

    FIGURE 13

  4. Draw the skin snugly over the arm. (See figure 14.)
    Figure 14

    FIGURE 14

  5. Check the tubing position. If the tubing has slipped from the channel, it can usually be pushed back in place by working it with the fingertips from the outside of the skin. (See figure 15.)
    Figure 15

    FIGURE 15

E. Installing the Lace

  1. Thread the lace through the supplied eyelets and tie it securely.
  2. Rinse the excess lubricant from the exterior of the arm with warm water.

The Life/form® Arterial Puncture Arm Simulator is now fully renewed and ready for use.


Solvents or corrosive materials will damage the simulator. Never place the simulator on any kind of printed paper or plastic. These materials will transfer an indelible stain. Ball-point pens will also make an indelible stain.

Supplies/Replacement Parts for the Arterial Puncture Arm Simulator

LF09919U – Nasco Cleaner
LF00998U – Skin Replacement Kit with Artery Sections
LF01099U – Tubing Sealant
LF01004U – Life/form® Arterial Blood – 1 Quart
LF00985U – Life/form® Lubricant Kit
LF01059U – Arterial Puncture Arm Artery Replacement Only

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