Original Article

Point-of-Care Ultrasound in the Inpatient Setting: A Tale of Four Patients

Authors: Renee K. Dversdal, MD, Kevin M. Piro, MD, Charles M. LoPresti, MD, Noelle M. Northcutt, MD, Daniel J. Schnobrich, MD


Point of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has become a mainstream bedside tool for clinicians in several specialties and is gaining recognition in hospital medicine. There are many clinical applications in which the inpatient practitioner can use POCUS to improve his or her diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of patients. POCUS is valuable in many clinical scenarios, including acute renal failure, increasing lower extremity edema, change in inpatient clinical status, and acute dyspnea. The medical literature has demonstrated the ability of nonradiologists to accurately detect conditions, including hydronephrosis; extremes of central venous pressure; deep venous thrombosis; pericardial effusion with tamponade; and several pulmonary pathologic states, including pulmonary edema, pleural effusion, consolidation, and pneumothorax. Further development of POCUS in hospital medicine is highly likely given increased awareness and exposure among medical trainees, a developing literature base, and growing engagement from specialty societies.


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