Point-of-Care Ultrasound & Its Role in the Current Pandemic

June 22 2020

Male doctor uses portable ultrasound machine on COVID-19 patient

Point-of-care ultrasound has played a key role in the diagnosis and care of patients infected by COVID-19. Already a useful tool for patient care, portable ultrasound machines have proven themselves to be a critical asset for managing this worldwide pandemic.

Because of the large number of patients contracting COVID-19 at once, healthcare practices have been forced to innovate and adapt. As these establishments reconsider and reinvent their protocols, many have incorporated portable or handheld ultrasound machines.

Portable ultrasound machines are a huge asset to the healthcare industry, especially because of their mobility and multi-purpose applications. Practices can use a POCUS ultrasound to effectively diagnose and monitor patients in a quick, non-invasive way.

Learn more about the applications of point-of-care ultrasound and how to use this tool to fight a global pandemic.

POCUS Lung Ultrasound

Point-of-care ultrasound, or POCUS, provides a quick, mobile way to assess patients anywhere and at any time. POCUS lung ultrasound can help healthcare professionals diagnose patients for coronavirus since it is a respiratory infection.

Many practices typically use CT scans to triage patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, with the high number of cases of COVID-19, POCUS lung ultrasound offers a quicker and more efficient alternative.

The Cleveland Clinic has found that patients infected with the COVID-19 virus typically have lung patterns with the following abnormalities:

  • Pleural irregularity/thickening
  • Subplural consolidation
  • B lines
  • Spared areas
  • Nonlobar & translobar consolidation
  • Small localized pleural effusions

A portable or handheld ultrasound machine is an ideal tool for assessing lungs for these irregularities.

View POCUS ultrasound images of these findings here. Keep in mind that these lung irregularities can be found in patients with other cases of pneumonia, both viral and bacterial.

Disinfecting a Portable Ultrasound Machine

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that can be transmitted via respiratory droplets. Because of this, any equipment used to treat or diagnose infected patients will likely become contaminated.

Each practice should have a protocol in place for disinfecting their portable ultrasound machines. Be sure this procedure is set before using the equipment, and that it is actively enforced.

To limit exposure to the virus, only one portable or handheld ultrasound machine should be dedicated to COVID-19 patients. In addition, use that machine only as needed, with examinations done in a single visit when possible.

Handheld ultrasound machines are often easiest to clean, so consider this type of portable equipment if possible. Clean every POCUS ultrasound machine twice after each patient. Clean once while wearing PPE, then again with clean gloves after removing prior PPE.

Row of POCUS ultrasound machines in a hospital

Finding Point-of-Care Ultrasound Equipment for Your Practice

Point-of-care ultrasound plays an invaluable role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. POCUS lung ultrasound can help diagnose and manage infected patients while lower extremity ultrasound can assist with deep vein thrombosis and guide treatment decisions.

POCUS ultrasound is also an easy way to monitor patients that are in a condition that has the potential to worsen. Serial POCUS lung ultrasound examinations are a quick way to check the status of these individuals.

As many hospitals and healthcare practices struggle to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients, point-of-care ultrasound offers access to a wealth of information and guidance in a matter of minutes.

If your practice could benefit from a portable ultrasound machine, turn to UltrasoundQuotes. Compare equipment from a variety of brands in one convenient place. Receive pricing straight to your inbox and find the machine you need in minutes.

UltrasoundQuotes is here to help you through these trying times. Add a new level of efficiency to your practice by investing in a point-of-care ultrasound machine.

Start Using POCUS Ultrasound At Your Practice