Point-of-Care Ultrasound in the Evaluation of COVID-19

Eric R Abrams, Gabriel Rose, J Matthew Fields, Dasia Esener
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2020, 59 (3): 403-408

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has caused a pandemic, overwhelming health care systems around the world. Hospitals around the world, including the United States, have been struggling to adapt to the influx of patients with COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV2, given limited resources and high demand for medical care.

OBJECTIVES: This article seeks to provide emergency physicians with a guide to sonographic findings in COVID-19 and an algorithm by which point-of-care lung ultrasound may assist emergency physicians caring for these patients during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

DISCUSSION: The studies currently being published have established a typical set of ultrasound findings in COVID-19. Point-of-care lung ultrasound is rapid and accessible in most emergency departments in the United States, and even in many resource-poor settings.

CONCLUSION: Point-of-care ultrasound provides numerous benefits to emergency providers caring for patients with COVID-19, including decreasing resource utilization, assisting in diagnosis, guiding management of the critically ill patient, and aiding in rapid triage of patients under investigations for COVID-19.

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