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Ultrasonography in the emergency department

Micah R Whitson, Paul H Mayo
Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum 2016 August 15, 20 (1): 227
27523885
Point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) is a useful imaging technique for the emergency medicine (EM) physician. Because of its growing use in EM, this article will summarize the historical development, the scope of practice, and some evidence supporting the current applications of POCUS in the adult emergency department. Bedside ultrasonography in the emergency department shares clinical applications with critical care ultrasonography, including goal-directed echocardiography, echocardiography during cardiac arrest, thoracic ultrasonography, evaluation for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, screening abdominal ultrasonography, ultrasonography in trauma, and guidance of procedures with ultrasonography. Some applications of POCUS unique to the emergency department include abdominal ultrasonography of the right upper quadrant and appendix, obstetric, testicular, soft tissue/musculoskeletal, and ocular ultrasonography. Ultrasonography has become an integral part of EM over the past two decades, and it is an important skill which positively influences patient outcomes.

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