The Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive care, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
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Point-of-care (POC) ultrasonography is rapidly expanding within clinical practice. POC ultrasonography is per definition a bedside examination performed and interpreted by the treating physician. The development witnessed, in part, reflects equipment of increased quality, mobility and availability—the latter as a result of reduced costs. POC ultrasonography appears to be a safe and valuable tool, supporting the physician in patient management. It holds obvious advantages in being an easily repeatable and real-time examination that supplies images, which correlate directly to the patient’s symptoms or the clinically suspected diagnosis. In terms of airway, breathing, circulation (ABC-) ultrasonography, it covers cardiac, pulmonary, abdominal and vascular ultrasound. The aim of this critical review was to discuss POC ultrasonography.
The diffusion of POC ultrasonography will continue into the acute care specialities, such as emergency medicine, anaesthesiology and intensive care. With appropriate training as well as quality and competence assurance, optimal use of this technology could lead to a reduction in medical errors, accurate diagnosis, optimal treatment, accurate referral and better overall results.