Emergency bedside ultrasound: benefits as well as caution - part 1. General

Adrian Wong, Antoine Vieillard-Baron, Manu L N G Malbrain
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2019, 25 (6): 613-621

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The use of bedside or point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in medical emergencies is rapidly becoming more established as an effective acute diagnostic tool. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the various techniques currently used that are readily available, as well as several in development. Possible caveats are also addressed.

RECENT FINDINGS: Despite its widespread use, definitive studies demonstrating improved patient outcomes are limited. The list of indications for POCUS nonetheless is increasing as practitioners acknowledge clinical benefits, and technological advancement improves diagnostic accuracy and efficiency of use.

SUMMARY: We believe that a core level of POCUS should be achievable by practicing clinicians. Ultimately, the integration of POCUS findings into a patient management strategy must be holistic, and hence requires prudent consideration of the clinical scenario.

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