Point-of-care ultrasound guides decision-making

Point-of-care ultrasound provides valuable additional information in emergency medicine, helping to guide clinical decision-making, and has an important role to play in the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. The hospital is currently using SonoSite technology for a variety of applications.

Dr Jonny Gordon, EMED consultant at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, explained: “We routinely assess trauma patients by FAST and, in the event of a major incident, ultrasound can also provide an indication of which patients should be most urgently prioritised for CT scans.” 

Ultrasound is important for line placement, while patient retrieval services also use point-of-care ultrasound and there is growing interest from the ambulance service. 

“We get advance notification of incoming patients diagnosed with lifethreatening conditions, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms for example,” Dr Gordon commented. “Teaching is an important consideration and trainees attending one of our courses have the opportunity to try ultrasound for themselves, learning the basic technique before honing their skills under supervision in the hospital environment, in order to demonstrate their competency and achieve the necessary certification. 

“SonoSite’s X Porte system, with its dual screen, is particularly useful in this regard. Although training simulators are available, they are exceptionally expensive. With the X-Porte, trainees can scan a patient and visualise the image on the upper screen while simultaneously comparing it with a learning module displayed on the bottom screen.”


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