ACP releases point-of-care-ultrasound guideline

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

April 28, 2021 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has released a new guideline for the use of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for patients with acute shortness of breath in emergency departments or in-patient settings. The guideline was published April 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The guide is intended to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of patients with suspected heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pleural effusion, or pneumothorax, and it outlines how POCUS can mitigate diagnostic uncertainty after standard protocols such as patient history, physical examination, laboratory testing, electrocardiogram, or chest or cardiac imaging have been conducted.

POCUS boosted the proportion of correct diagnoses by 32% when it was used alongside these standard protocols, according to a team led by Dr. Amir Qaseem, PhD, of the ACP.

"The appropriate use of POCUS in treating patients in these settings is an important topic for physicians," said ACP President Dr. Jacqueline Fincher in a statement released by the college. "As the use of this diagnostic tool continues to see more widespread use, it's critical to understand the benefits, potential harms and best use as an accurate diagnostic tool."


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