Point-of-care ultrasound in the neonatal ICU

Laura E Miller, Jason Z Stoller, María V Fraga
Current Opinion in Pediatrics 2020, 32 (2): 216-227

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is an emerging clinical tool in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Recent literature describing the use of POCUS for various applications in the NICU has garnered increased interest among neonatologists.

RECENT FINDINGS: Diagnostic applications for POCUS in the NICU include the evaluation and serial monitoring of common pulmonary diseases, hemodynamic instability, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), among others. Procedural applications include vascular access, endotracheal intubation, lumbar puncture, and fluid drainage.

SUMMARY: Experience with POCUS in the NICU is growing. Current evidence supports the use of POCUS for a number of diagnostic and procedural applications. As use of this tool increases, there is an urgent need to develop formal training requirements specific to neonatology, as well as evidence-based guidelines to standardize use across centers.

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