Ultrasound for Pediatric Emergency Departments
Improving efficiency and patient care behind the busy curtains of the emergency room is an ongoing challenge. Bedside ultrasonography is a safe, fast and valuable tool that is being used to help solve this challenge: and although it’s long been used in adult emergency situations, it has recently gained more traction in the pediatric emergency department.
Bedside ultrasonography is a great, pain-free option to use in diagnosing children, as ultrasound waves more easily flow through their small bodies.
Children’s (pediatric) ultrasound imaging is a safe, noninvasive test that uses sound waves to produce a clear picture of the internal organs and blood vessels within [the] child’s [body]. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation, has no known harmful effects, and is particularly valuable for evaluating abdominal, pelvic or scrotal pain in children.
Other uses for bedside ultrasonography are not limited to abdominal diagnoses:
– Localization of Foreign Bodies: regardless of the material of the foreign body, be it glass, metal, rubber or plastic, foreign bodies will appear bright white on an ultrasound and will be immediately visible for further diagnosis and an extraction plan;
– Guidance for Intravenous Access: intravenous (IV) lines may require additional guidance if veins are collapsed or difficult to penetrate. Ultrasound guidance for IV insertion results in fewer attempts, reducing the discomfort of the procedure
– Abscess Drainage: ultrasound use on tissue infections can help clinicians determine what type of fluid has collected, how much there is, and it’s specific location, which can guide optimal incision and drainage
– Fractures: early identification of a fracture can significantly impact the treatment, healing and recovery plans.
Bedside ultrasound for pediatric emergency departments is rapidly growing in both its number of applications and its positive reviews within the medical community. Continued interest in the tool and continued training will ensure even more applications and uses for portable bedside ultrasound in the coming future.
For more information on the types of portable ultrasound systems that would work best in a pediatric emergency situation, please contact us.