Best Practice Recommendations for Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound in Patients with Suspected COVID-19

Nicole M Duggan, Hamid Shokoohi, Andrew S Liteplo, Calvin Huang, Andrew J Goldsmith
Journal of Emergency Medicine 2020 June 12

BACKGROUND: Lung point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a critical tool for evaluating patients with dyspnea in the emergency department (ED), including patients with suspected coronavirus disease (COVID)-19. However, given the threat of nosocomial disease spread, the use of ultrasound is no longer risk free.

OBJECTIVE: Here, we review the lung POCUS findings in patients with COVID-19. In doing so we present a scanning protocol for lung POCUS in COVID-19 that maximizes clinical utility and provider safety.

DISCUSSION: In COVID-19 lung, POCUS findings are predominantly located in the posterior and lateral lung zones bilaterally. A six-zone scanning protocol that prioritizes obtaining images in these locations optimizes provider positioning, and minimizes time spent scanning, which can reduce risk to health care workers performing POCUS.

CONCLUSIONS: Lung POCUS can offer valuable clinical data when evaluating patients with COVID-19. Scanning protocols such as that presented here, which target clinical utility and decreased nosocomial disease spread, must be prioritized.

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