Improved machine image quality, portability, lower cost, and growth in evidence has moved the ultrasound probe firmly into the hand of the bedside practitioner. Internal medicine is finally joining emergency medicine and critical care in integrating bedside ultrasound into clinical decision making. Point-of-care ultrasound benefits patients and physicians by improving diagnostic accuracy while bringing the physician back to the bedside.
The goal of this book is to present the most salient techniques and concepts in pointof-care ultrasound to clinicians and students at all levels of training. For the new learner, this includes basic direction in indications and acquisition. For the more advanced practitioner, points to improve image quality and identification of common pitfalls are combined with basic interpretation and examples of pathology. Conceptual and interpretation questions are provided in the last chapter to help reinforce knowledge and provide self-assessment.
This text is primarily intended as a point-of-care reference for practicing clinicians, including physicians, advanced practice providers, and residents. Practitioners who have been hesitant to dive into the deep waters of clinician-performed ultrasound should find this text accessible and empowering. However, medical students, pre-hospital practitioners, and nurses will also find it useful with the understanding that the information found in this book can be used in conjunction with the in-depth explanations found in more formal texts.
Point-of-care ultrasound is truly an array of specific examinations intended to answer tailored clinical questions. For each of these examinations, the editors of this book took care to focus on the essential skills that a clinician must master:
Understand the indications for a given ultrasound examination
Know the methods for acquiring high-quality images
Understand how to interpret images and identify pathology
Integrate the findings into clinical decision making
The book was written and designed to be used as a true point-of-care reference that can fit in a white-coat pocket. Additionally, each physical card is designed to represent a targeted set of concepts so that it can be individually brought to the bedside. Videos of many of the images found in the chapters can be found in the free supplementary app found in the app store to expand on what can be seen on the page.
Our team includes senior emergency medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, and sonologist educators with more than 50 cumulative years of experience using and teaching ultrasound. While there are numerous high-quality books on point-of-care ultrasound written by luminaries in the field, it is impractical to bring a large textbook to the bedside. Our trainees have been requesting a quickly accessible reference that they can have in hand while they learn to scan, and this book is intended to answer that call.
We would like to acknowledge Dr. Jamie Linker and Dr. Geoffrey Hayden for their work on a prior version of our point-of-care guide.
Cameron M. Baston, MD MSc
Christy Moore BS, RDMS, RVT
Elizabeth A. Krebs, MD MSc
Anthony J. Dean, MD FAAEM FACEP