Practicing Ultrasound in Critical Care

Practicing Ultrasound in Critical Care

The practice of ultrasound in critical care units has gained immense momentum in the past few years. Alongside the portable machines, the use of critical care ultrasound helps in better understanding of abdominal, lung, heart, kidney, and vascular readings of ICU patients. It has revolutionized the medical diagnosis of critical patients. The widespread of critical care ultrasonography devices for the management of ICU patients demands effective critical care ultrasound course training.

What is a critical care ultrasound?

It is a diagnostic tool used by frontline practitioners while taking care of seriously ill patients. A critical care ultrasound device includes the sonography of the lungs, heart, abdomen, kidneys, and vascular system. It cannot be considered merely a diagnostic examination but as a part of the physical assessment. In addition, it is also considered to be a potential 21st-century stethoscope. The device incorporates simple protocols with lung ultrasound as a basic application, providing the examination of urgent diagnoses coordinated with therapeutic conclusions.

Diagnose pneumothorax

A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung that exists when there is a leakage of air into the space between the lungs and the chest wall. The air gets pushed on the outside of the lung making it collapse. There can be a complete collapse of the lung or a partial one depending on the severity of the patient. Often critically ill patients admitted to the ICU suffer from pneumothorax, which can be a life-threatening condition. Thanks to the presence of critical care ultrasound that can accurately detect the condition.

Rules out the possibility of a cardiac arrest

To rule out a cardiac arrest, the standard protocol is to undertake the whole body assessment, including the heart, veins, lungs, abdomen, etc. considering the seriousness of a cardiac arrest where every second counts, considering one machine that can investigate the entire body is a blessing. The best part about critical care ultrasound is that it is a single setting machine without the need to change for daily applications.

Furthermore, no alterations and time lags can confuse the detection of artifacts and examining the dynamic events taking place. Such high-end medical devices are used in hospitals where the practitioners are known to have completed the critical care ultrasound course sessions.

Identifying pleural effusion

Also known as water on the lungs is the build-up of excess fluid between the tissues that line the chest and lungs. Accumulation of fluid around the lungs occurs due to poor heart pumping or any inflammation. Pleural effusion can be easily detected using a critical care ultrasound device and also have a detailed understanding of the characteristics of the fluid accumulated.


Critical care ultrasound is distinguished from conventional ultrasound examinations, where the former manages critically ill patients in real-time by interpreting the images and making life-saving immediate decisions. The USP of critical care ultrasound is that the device enables the medical practitioners to recognize multiple life-threatening complexities without wasting time and provide medical guidance for managing unstable or critical patients.

The standard practice is to execute entire body ultrasonography of patients showing hemodynamic instability. To perform it flawlessly, study the assessment, and come with proper treatment management requires special knowledge and expertise. Hence, a certificate or diploma in critical care ultrasound course is a must for those planning a serious career out of it.

Elishay Smith

Lynn Redmile is a blogger and writer. She loves to express her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative content on various niches over the internet.