Point-of-care ultrasound in pediatric anesthesiology and critical care medicine

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Body composition and size are important factors that affect ultrasound performance in the child, as are the pathologies that may uniquely afflict children and aspects of procedures unique to this patient population. Ultrasound simplifies vascular access and other procedures by visualizing structures smaller than those in adults” Su et al (2018).

Abstract:

Ultrasound has increasingly become a clinical asset in the hands of the anesthesiologist and intensivist who cares for children. Though many applications for ultrasound parallel adult modalities, children as always are not simply small adults and benefit from the application of ultrasound to their management in various ways. Body composition and size are important factors that affect ultrasound performance in the child, as are the pathologies that may uniquely afflict children and aspects of procedures unique to this patient population.

Ultrasound simplifies vascular access and other procedures by visualizing structures smaller than those in adults. Maturation of the thoracic cage presents challenges for the clinician performing pulmonary ultrasound though a greater proportion of the thorax can be seen. Moreover, ultrasound may provide unique solutions to sizing the airway and assessing it for cricothyroidotomy. Though cardiac ultrasound and neurosonology have historically been performed by well-developed diagnostic imaging services, emerging literature stresses the utility of clinician ultrasound in screening for pathology and providing serial observations for monitoring clinical status. Use of ultrasound is growing in clinical areas where time and diagnostic accuracy are crucial. Implementation of ultrasound at the bedside will require institutional support of education and credentialing. It is only natural that the pediatric anesthesiologist and intensivist will lead the incorporation of ultrasound in the future practice of these specialties.

Reference:

Su, E., Dalesio, N. and Pustavoitau, A. (2018) Point-of-care ultrasound in pediatric anesthesiology and critical care medicine. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia. January 19th. .

doi: 10.1007/s12630-018-1066-6.

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