Emergency Ultrasound

INTRODUCTION

Ultrasonography provides critical information to emergency physicians at the bedside by rapidly and non-invasively defining critical anatomic structures and function, providing guidance for difficult procedures, and identifying pathologic conditions as well as localizing sources of pain.

Bedside ultrasound may be the only imaging modality available during many situations, as patients may be too unstable to leave the emergency department, like patients with suspected intraperitoneal free fluid or pneumothorax, suspected pericardial tamponade, suspected electromechanical dissociation, etc. The purpose of ultrasound in these cases is to obtain information necessary for immediate clinical decision-making, and not for elaborate formal reporting. Ultrasound is also used for procedural guidance like pericardiocentesis and central venous catheter placement.

The use of emergency ultrasound by emergency physicians is a very recent & rapidly expanding trend in India. Therefore there is need for proper training & a supervised credentialing process before a resident is allowed to use this skill for clinical & patient care decisions. The Departments of Emergency Medicine, Apollo Hospitals are the first institutes in India to introduce formal certification for emergency medicine trainees to safely practice ultrasonography in the ED.

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