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point of care ultrasound

In the ICU environment, point of care ultrasound (or POCUS) is an imaging modality used for both diagnostic therapeutic purposes at bedside in order to improve patient outcomes. It is quick, fast, cheap and evidence based way to make your patients better

The number one thing it takes to get good at point of care ultrasound is repetition. The more you put a probe on somebody, the better you will get.

Basics of Ultrasound

It’s important to know how an ultrasound works prior to using it on your patients - that way, you can know how to troubleshoot it and understand the image coming to you screen.

This can get really in depth (think physics) but basically it’s a bunch of sound waves traveling through a medium, being bounced back towards your probe and sent to a screen via electricity. I’ve posted the video to the right of this as a quick 11 minute overview.

  • Recommendations: check out sonosim course (get access with Mike) for detailed overview and more resources

Types of Probes


Linear Array Probe

  • Produces a rectangular field of view with uniform beam density throughout

  • Has higher frequencies which produce better resolution at the cost of lower penetration (a.k.a. better for shallow structures)

  • Good for:

    • Vascular access (central and peripheral)

    • Evaluating for DVT

    • Appendicitis in THIN patients

    • Ocular ultrasound

    • Evaluation of pleural lines for PTX, interstitial fluid
      and MORE

phased array.jpg

Phased Array Probe


Curved Array Probe

Heart Ultrasound