Real-time B-mode ultrasound in the ED saves time in the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Daniel Theodoro, Michael Blaivas, Sandeep Duggal, Graham Snyder, Michael Lucas
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2004, 22 (3): 197-200
We hypothesize that EPs can decrease the time to disposition when performing examinations for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) compared with disposition times using imaging specialists (IS). We performed a prospective, single-blind observational study at an academic ED over the course of 1 year. Patients were enrolled based on study physician availability. EPs ordered the corroborative ultrasound, then performed their own examination. EPs recorded patient triage time, ED results, and disposition times for both EP and IS departments. One hundred fifty-six patients were enrolled. Thirty-four (22%) were diagnosed with a DVT. Mean time from triage to EP disposition was 95 minutes and mean time from triage to radiology disposition was 220 minutes. The difference of 125 minutes was statistically significant (P <.0001). EPs and ISs had excellent agreement (kappa = 0.9). Compression ultrasound performed by EPs resulted in a significant decreased time to disposition. Agreement with ISs was excellent.

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