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Point-of-care ultrasound invaluable for treatment of ICU patients

 Intensive care and anaesthesia consultant Dr Max Jonas explained:

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Southampton General is a Category A trauma centre, with a 25-bed general intensive care unit. We also treat surgical intensive care and high dependency patients, and cover surgical aspects of anaesthesia. In my time here – around 20 years – the use of point-of-care ultrasound has grown significantly, and its applications multiplied, as people have begun to understand how it works. Ultrasound systems have also become more readily available and easy to operate, with user-friendly probes and smart software.

In ICU, we use point-of-care ultrasound for both regional anaesthesia and diagnostics. Visualisation of the nerves gives confidence that the needle is in the correct place when performing blocks, making the procedure safer and more reliable. Ultrasound also enables us to investigate, for example, fluid collections, hypo- and hypervolemia, and heart function, helping to support clinical decision making. Over the years, we have used a variety of Fujifilm SonoSite systems, including the latest arrival, the X-Porte®, which is very different to other point-of-care systems. It offers high definition imaging and intuitive operation, allowing new intensive care trainees to get up to speed quickly, and has the capability to monitor and guide the operator while performing a scan. It is a real paradigm shift.”