My patient is short of breath: is the problem in the lung tissue?

Smith, Andrew and Milne, James and Atkinson, Paul and Bowra, Justin and Loubani, Osama and Jarman, Bob (2013) My patient is short of breath: is the problem in the lung tissue? Ultrasound (21). pp. 82-87. ISSN 1743-1344

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Undifferentiated dyspnoea is a common patient presentation in the intensive care unit, medical and surgical floors, and in the emergency department. Physical examination and chest radiography are notoriously insensitive for detection and differentiation of various lung pathologies while computed tomography consumes significant resources and exposes the patient to ionizing radiation. Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) is a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tool that, with appropriate operator experience, is capable of diagnosing and differentiating between the various causes of dyspnoea. PoCUS machines are readily available, images are rapidly generated and repeatable, and technical skills are easily taught during short training sessions. Furthermore, the development of PoCUS skills in one specific area enables and enhances the development of skills in other non-related areas. This article describes the benefits, technical aspects, and challenges associated with using PoCUS to examine the lung parenchyma in the acutely dyspnoeic patient.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 6260
Keywords: Ultrasound, lung, PoCUS, pulmonary oedema, pneumonia, COPD, interstitial syndrome, atelectasis
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Clinical Disciplines > Emergency Medicine
Date: May 2013
Date Type: Publication
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