Advances in point-of-care ultrasound in pediatric emergency medicine

Rachel A Gallagher, Jason A Levy
Current Opinion in Pediatrics 2014, 26 (3): 265-71

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become an integral part of emergency medicine practice. Research evaluating POCUS in the care of pediatric patients has improved the understanding of its potential role in clinical care.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent work has investigated the ability of pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians to perform a wide array of diagnostic and procedural applications in POCUS ultrasound. Studies have demonstrated that PEM providers are able to identify an array of diseases, including intussusception, pyloric stenosis and appendicitis. Novel applications of ultrasound, such as a cardiac evaluation in the acutely ill patient or identification of skull fractures in the assessment of a patient with head injury, have shown excellent promise in recent studies. These novel applications have the potential to reshape pediatric diagnostic algorithms.

SUMMARY: Key applications in PEM have been investigated in the recent publications. Further exploration of the ability to integrate ultrasound into routine practice will require larger-scale studies and continued growth of education in the field. The use of ultrasound in clinical practice has the potential to improve safety and efficiency of care in the pediatric emergency department.

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