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April 14, 2020

How Focused Venous Ultrasound is helping Clinicians with the Diagnosis of Lower Extremity Deep Venous Thrombosis

Written by: Mark Swanson, RT, RDMS, RVT

How Focused Venous Ultrasound is helping Clinicians with the Diagnosis of Lower Extremity Deep Venous Thrombosis

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Venous thrombosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Patients presenting to the emergency department with lower extremity symptoms suggestive of thrombolytic disease typically require a diagnostic ultrasound examination. A duplex ultrasound examination performed in a vascular laboratory or in the Radiology department may not be available after-hours. In many institutions, these ultrasound examinations are performed by emergency medicine / critical care physicians, radiology residents, or possibly an on-call technologist.

When performed by emergency physicians, focused venous imaging (POCUS) has been shown to decrease emergency department (ED) time to disposition when compared to exams performed by other imaging specialists.

Focused ultrasound of the lower extremity can be performed quickly and accurately using B-Mode only. A simplified technique that concentrates on evaluating the common femoral, femoral and popliteal veins is utilized. Emergency physicians using POC ultrasound in the evaluation of lower-extremity pain or swelling need to be aware of the pitfalls, limitations, and proper techniques to avoid misdiagnosis while evaluating a patient for DVT.

At Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, our Blended Introduction and Advanced Emergency Medicine & Critical Care Ultrasound Live Training Course provides participants a strong foundation to perform and/or interpret the core and advanced ultrasound applications in an emergency setting as outlined in the ACEP and WINFOCUS ultrasound practice guidelines.

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