August 06, 2020
Written by: Lori Green, BA, RT, RDMS, RDCS, RVT
The use of ultrasound to evaluate a variety of medical conditions ranging from relatively minor to critically ill is well established. Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is an accurate, non-invasive, cost-effective imaging modality that can be performed at the bedside to expedite the time to diagnosis and treatment resulting with improved patient care, safety, and over-all outcomes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further defined the importance of using POCUS to augment the physical exam to accurately assess the respiratory and cardiovascular systems in a timely manner.
Lung ultrasound is highly sensitive and specific providing a viable alternative to chest radiography or CT scanning. The stages of pneumonia can be evaluated by determining the presence of B-lines, and/or more solid appearing consolidated lung (hepatization).
Covid-19 was initially thought to be a virus that primarily affects the respiratory system, however research and experience have shown the virus also infects the blood vessels resulting in a high prevalence of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Studies have revealed that over 40% of deaths in Covid-19 patients are related to cardiovascular complications (1).
The use of bedside ultrasound to perform a focused cardiac exam can provide valuable information relating to cardiac function, presence of pericardial effusion/tamponade, pleural effusion, and volume status.
POCUS can also serve as a valuable tool to perform a multi-system approach to the evaluation of the critically ill patient in a time and cost-effective manner to expedite time to treatment. By performing a RUSH exam, the medical provider can evaluate the heart, IVC, Abdominal aorta, and venous system to determine source of shock and hypotension, and potential complications associated with the Covid-19 patient.
ACEP and WINFOCUS have published ultrasound practice guidelines that provide recommendations for learning how to perform the core and advanced level ultrasound applications.
Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, Inc. (GCUS.com), the leading provider of quality ultrasound CME since 1985, offers a wide variety of POCUS training programs (based on published guidelines) for all levels of experience and in a variety of educational formats. All programs are taught by leading ultrasound experts, so you will be learning from the medical professionals who wrote the books.
Attend a GCUS CME activity to enhance your ultrasound skills and competence to effectively integrate these valuable applications into clinical practice.
UPCOMING POCUS COURSES / RESOURCES:
Live Emergency and Critical Care Courses: (Introductory & Advanced Levels)
September 14-18, 2020
February 15-19, 2021
Blended POCUS Courses (combine comprehensive online course(s) with scheduled hands-on workshop
November 19-20, 2020
June 7-8, 2021
Upcoming Blended Courses:
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