Objective: Intraosseous (IO) access is critical in resuscitation, providing rapid access when peripheral vascular attempts fail. Unfortunately, misplacement commonly occurs, leading to possible fluid extravasation and tissue necrosis. Current research exploring the utility of bedside ultrasound in confirming IO line placement is limited by small sample sizes of skeletally immature subjects or geriatric cadaveric models. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential value of ultrasound confirming IO needle placement in a live tissue model with bone densities approximated to the young adult medical or trauma patient.
Materials and methods: In this randomized, blinded prospective study, IO devices were placed into the bilateral humeri of 36 sedated adult swine (N = 72) with bone densities approximating that of a 20-39-year-old adult. Of the 72 lines, 53 were randomized to the IO space (“correct”) and 19 into the subcutaneous tissue (“incorrect”). Four emergency physicians with variable ultrasound experience and blinded to needle location independently assessed correct or incorrect needle placements based on the presence of an intramedullary “flare” on color power Doppler (CPD) during a saline flush. Participants adjusted the ultrasound beam trajectory and recorded assessments up to three times, totaling 204 separate observations.
Results: Overall, sensitivity for placement confirmation was 72% (95% CI: 64%-79%). Specificity was 79% (95% CI: 66%-89%). First assessment and final assessment results were similar. More experienced sonographers demonstrated greater success in identifying inaccurate placements with a specificity of 86% (95% CI: 63%-96%).
Conclusion: Within the context of this study, point-of-care ultrasound with CPD did not reliably confirm IO line placement. However, more accurate assessments of functional and malpositioned catheters were noted in sonographers with greater than 4 years of experience. Future study into experienced sonographers’ use of CPD to confirm IO catheter placement is needed.Reference:
Kyle AI, Auten JD, Zarow GJ, Natarajan R, Bianchi WD, Speicher MV, Palma J, Gaspary MJ. Determining Intraosseous Needle Placement Using Point-of-Care Ultrasound in a Swine (Sus scrofa) Model. Mil Med. 2022 Apr 27:usac108. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usac108. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35476019.