Kevin Burns is back from our last podcast for another discussion, this time specifically on Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) and prehospital care. He is assisting with some new research and we review how POCUS could be beneficial in the EMS.
Again, a quick apology for audio but we were able to improve on some of the issues from the last podcast and we hope you understand.
The study Kevin is helping in is in relation to identifying the causes of dyspnea with POCUS. We discussed some evidence on differentiating dyspnea in POCUS on Podcast #35 with Patrick Bafuma and Frank Norman. However, in that study that was reviewed, these were not novice ultrasound users or in the prehospital setting. In fact, most research regarding POCUS uses providers with advanced knowledge in ultrasound and rarely has an EMS component. Kevin is helping to change that with this new piece of research.
Some may argue that EMS would not need POCUS, but that is also what they once said about other important skills such as EKG interpretation. As paramedicine grows, so does the need of advance knowledge. POCUS is designed to answer specific questions and with certain training, many in medicine can perform these skills. It is already being used in some centers for eFAST scanning. However, most of these are physician led.
EMS can benefit with dyspnea for a number of reasons. Think of the patients who are ill and received the incorrect treatment by EMS based on their current information which led to a negative outcome or delayed appropriate care. This is especially common in dyspnea where a patient may be given diuretics when they really needed breathing treatments. Another instance is with detection of a potential pneumothorax and appropriate treatment. Often paramedics are worried about uncertainty and having a way to confirm can lead to faster and more appropriate treatment.
Do you think this is an area where PAs should be starting to practice? Are you interested in learning more or currently work as a prehospital PA? Let us know what you think by giving us feedback here in the comments section or contacting us on Twitter or Facebook. Remember to look us up on Libsyn and on iTunes. If you have any questions you can also comment below, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a message from the page. Please check our bandwidth sponsor, FunnyRx, too. We hope to talk to everyone again soon. Until then, continue to provide total care everywhere.