Introducing the Ambulance's New Team Player – POCUS on the Frontlines

In just a few decades, ultrasound has evolved from a standard diagnostic examination to an indispensable tool in medical practice. Recent technological advancements have allowed for the miniaturization of the equipment, empowering healthcare providers to bring the ultrasound scanner to the patient. This shift in approach has given rise to the term "point-of-care ultrasound" or POCUS.

Just as the stethoscope is an extension of the doctor's ears, the ultrasound probe has become an extension of their hands and eyes.

Today, POCUS is an integral component of acute and emergency medicine worldwide, serving diagnostic and therapeutic purposes for critically ill and injured patients. However, in the prehospital sector, where compact devices would be particularly advantageous, standardized concepts for the training of paramedics in emergency sonography still need to be implemented.

The potential impact of a focused emergency ultrasound in the prehospital setting is profound. It enables a rapid, efficient, and comprehensive assessment through handy, memorable protocols and decision guidance, incorporating clinical and situational context throughout the evaluation.

Ultrasound becomes a time- and a life-saver

POCUS facilitates and fastens the initiation of acute therapeutic measures at the accident scene or during transportation in various scenarios, including the differential diagnosis of dyspneic patients,  relief of pleural or pericardial effusions under ultrasound guidance, gaining vascular access, and even ultrasound-guided emergency cricothyrotomy.

Moreover, introducing POCUS to preclinical services has strategic implications, influencing decisions such as selecting the destination hospital. This aspect is significant in suburban or rural areas where extended transport times are pivotal in prognostic considerations. As POCUS takes the wheel on the ambulance, it signifies a revolutionary step towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of prehospital care.

Equipping Paramedics with Ultrasound

The long-term goal is to equip every paramedic with the skills needed for prehospital emergency ultrasound. But for this to happen, the ambulances must be equipped with POCUS machines, the indications and extent of the exam must be identified and targeted, the procedures codified, and the operators must be trained so that their level of performance meets the requirements.

To address the latter, 123sonography is currently working closely with paramedics and emergency doctors to craft an ultrasound training curriculum for prehospital POCUS. 

In this way, we aim to close the gap in training and lay the foundations for paramedics to use ultrasound safely and effectively in critical prehospital scenarios. 

So keep your eyes open and you might even spot an amazing Early Bird deal for our upcoming course very soon!