[Ultrasound at the bedside: does a portable ultrasound device save time?]

T Fischer, S Filimonow, J Petersein, D Beyersdorff, M Mühler, M Bollow, H R Badakhshi, B Hamm
Ultraschall in der Medizin 2002, 23 (5): 311-4

AIM: To prospectively determine whether the use of a portable ultrasound device results in a detectable reduction of the time required for acute ultrasound (US) assessment at the bedside.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 125 patients underwent US at the bedside, among them 68 for abdominal assessment, 12 patients for chest or soft-tissue evaluation, and 45 patients with vascular disease. Five different US systems equipped with 3.5 MHz and 7.5 MHz wide-band transducers were compared in terms of overall examination time including transport, setting up and disassembling, switching on and off as well as initializing the device (but without writing of the report). The following ultrasound systems were used: the portable SonoSite 180 (SonoSite, Germany) as well as the mobile units Masters/Gateway 2000 (Diasonics, USA), Tosbee (Toshiba, Japan), PowerVision 7000 (Toshiba, Japan), and SONOLINE Elegra (Siemens AG, Germany).

RESULTS: The portable ultrasound device significantly reduced the examination time per patient to a mean 16 +/- 4 min from 26 +/- 5 min for the mobile units (p < 0.05). This result was predominantly affected by the time required for switching on and initializing the device as well as the duration of positioning at the bedside and to a lesser extent by elevator waiting time.

CONCLUSION: The overall time required for performing an ultrasound examination at the bedside can be considerably reduced if a portable device is used instead of a mobile system.

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