Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) has shown great promise in recent years in prehospital settings. While there are many different clinical conditions that POCUS may be useful for, including trauma and stroke, one often neglected area is prehospital cardiac arrest. Approximately 4% of all ambulatory services in the United States and Canada currently have an ultrasound system in their units. How could this be affecting patient outcomes if cardiac arrest occurs and what benefits could modern Point-of-Care Ultrasound Systems provide?
One common reason that EMS services do not widely use Point-of-Care Ultrasound is often a perceived lack of evidence that these systems can improve patient outcomes. Additionally, cost-barriers may also make it harder to justify retrofitting these systems into established ambulances. A wealth of new evidence suggests that the use of POCUS for prehospital cardiac arrest patients may provide the ability to alter treatment protocols.
Potential Uses for POCUS in Precardiac Arrest
At the current time, many EMS services equipped with POCUS use the system in cardiac arrest protocols. These systems ultimately help emergency care providers identify whether cardiac activity can be found through a subxiphoid view.
ALCS guidelines currently recommend that pulse checks be performed in 10 seconds or less; however, one study found that, on average, it takes EMS providers approximately 24 seconds to complete this task. Instead of performing manual pulse checks, EMS could utilize a POCUS pulse check. This process is achieved by placing the probe on the carotid or femoral artery to check for the vessels’ collapsibility and visual pulsation.
Now that Point-of-Care Ultrasound Systems have undergone several evolutions, this an excellent time for traditional prehospital cardiac arrest management protocols to be reviewed. While just a small glimpse into the possible applications, the need for high-quality chest compressions and the ability to provide quick defibrillation should be a priority to ensure optimal care. If proper training and communication are provided to EMS responders, Point-of-Care Ultrasound Systems could potentially transform prehospital resuscitation capabilities and further improve patient outcomes.
Why Partner with Advanced Ultrasound Systems?
If you need new ultrasound systems or require repairs on your existing equipment, the Advanced Care Ultrasound team is here to help. We have invested heavily in our facility and have one of the most extensive new and refurbished parts, probes, and systems inventory in the business. Visit our website at https://advancedultrasound.com or call us at (866) 620-2831.