The safe placement a central venous catheter (CVC) remains an important part of caring for critically ill patients.1 Over 5 million CVCs are placed each year in the United States. It is crucial to confirm that the central line is placed in the correct position in order to rule out potential complications of the procedure (e.g. pneumothorax) and begin administration of life-saving medications. Post-procedure chest radiographs (CXR) are the standard of care for CVC placements above the diaphragm. However, the annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system for CXRs after CVC placement is estimated to be over $500 million.2 Further, in a busy ED, the limited availability of portable radiography may pose a considerable time delay. Radiography may also be limited in resource‐poor and austere settings, particularly the prehospital and military environments. We review a faster, cheaper, and more accurate alternative for evaluating CVC placement: point of care ultrasound (POCUS).(more…)
A 32 year old woman arrives in your emergency department after being in a motor vehicle collision where she was the seat-belted driver. She undergoes chest CT imaging despite a negative chest x-ray because of her ongoing anterior chest wall diffuse tenderness. You discover a small 10% pneumothorax (PTX), but no other associated thoracic injuries. Should you place a tube thoracostomy (chest tube)? Should this patient be admitted to the hospital? A 2019 Annals of Emergency Medicine paper by the NEXUS Chest research group tackles these questions.1
A 70-year-old female with no past medical history was hit by a motor vehicle while crossing the street. She experienced no head strike or loss of consciousness, however she was unable to ambulate at the scene, and upon arrival to the ED, complained of left knee pain. The emergency physician noted moderate swelling on exam with intact skin and distal pulses. She was tender to palpation over the proximal tibia. Portable 2-view radiographs were obtained and interpreted as “no acute fracture.” On repeat examination, however, the patient continued to have pain and was now unable to bear weight on the affected extremity. Is there a role for point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) in this situation?
Have you ever performed a procedure, when suddenly, you are overcome by a sinking feeling that something just is not right? A mix of fear, guilt, and anger: Fear that you endangered a patient, guilt that you missed an important step in the procedure, and anger at yourself for being careless. The oath we take as physicians echoes loudly: Primum non nocere. First, do no harm.
The EM Residency Match Advice Series is back with its latest installment! We put the focus on emergency ultrasound fellowships, and our sage panel walks us through some of the changes to this year’s application cycle. For the first time, Ultrasound Fellowship Programs will participate in the NRMP match program. The Society for Clinical Ultrasound Fellowships (SCUF) provides the fellowship application service (similar to the role of ERAS, but shorter!) for the residency match. Hosted by Drs. Michael Gisondi and Michelle Lin, watch the video or listen to the podcast to learn about important changes to the application process and hear tips from our experts on what to consider when pursuing a career in emergency ultrasound.
Ultrasound Fellowship Program Director Panel
- Dr. Jeremy Boyd (Vanderbilt University)
- Dr. Matt Fields (Kaiser Permanente San Diego)
- Dr. Arthur Au (Thomas Jefferson University)
Listen to all the episodes of the EM Match Advice Series
Welcome to another ultrasound-based case, part of the “Ultrasound For The Win!” (#US4TW) Case Series. In this case series, we focus on a real clinical case where point-of-care ultrasound changed the management of a patient’s care or aided in the diagnosis. In this case, a 57-year-old woman presents with chest pain and dyspnea.
Emergency ultrasound (EUS) has quickly become a fundamental aspect of emergency medicine (EM) residency training. While still relatively novel to the field, there has been a significant focus on curriculum development in accordance with the core ultrasound application guidelines set forth by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).1 Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal approach to EUS education that will provide learners with true clinical competence post-matriculation. Furthermore, a recent survey demonstrated that there is conflict between what ACEP guidelines consider to be competence in EUS and resident opinion on the matter.2 One potential identified issue with our current model is the focus on early ultrasound learning in junior EM residents with a lack of ongoing EUS education in senior years.