Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society. Ultrasound examination in anesthesiology and intensive care
II Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Central Teaching Hospital, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Correspondence: Paweł Andruszkiewicz, MD, PhD, II Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Central Teaching Hospital, Medical University of Warsaw, Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: +48 22 599 20 02
This article has been prepared on the basis of the Ultrasonography Standards of the Polish Ultrasound Society (2011) and updated based on the latest findings and reports. Various applications of ultrasonography are used in anesthesiology and intensive therapy both for diagnosis and as a supportive tool during invasive procedures (such as vascular cannulation or regional anesthesia). Ultrasound examinations performed by anesthesiologists in intensive care units are not detailed scans, but they are focused on immediate identification of pathologies that lead to life-threatening conditions. Performing repeated US exams in time intervals enables a physician to monitor the effectiveness of the instituted treatment. Many simplified protocols are used in clinical practice which help to systemize the examination. Focused US examination should be verified by a physician competent in this imaging method as soon as possible. Due to the specificity of anesthesiologists’ practice and spatial limitations of operating rooms and intensive care units, portable robust ultrasound equipment with short power-on to scanning time is preferable. A growing number of indications show that ultrasound machine should be equipped with three basic transducers (linear, convex and sector), and in higher-reference centers with a transesophageal probe. The specificity of certain procedures guided by ultrasonography requires adherence to safety measures, e.g. full sterility condition during vein cannulation.