Focused echocardiographic evaluation in resuscitation management: Concept of an advanced life support–conformed algorithm

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Abstract

Emergency ultrasound is suggested to be an important tool in critical care medicine. Time-dependent scenarios occur during preresuscitation care, during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and in postresuscitation care. Suspected myocardial insufficiency due to acute global, left, or right heart failure, pericardial tamponade, and hypovolemia should be identified. These diagnoses cannot be made with standard physical examination or the electrocardiogram. Furthermore, the differential diagnosis of pulseless electrical activity is best elucidated with echocardiography. Therefore, we developed an algorithm of focused echocardiographic evaluation in resuscitation management, a structured process of an advanced life support–conformed transthoracic echocardiography protocol to be applied to point-of-care diagnosis. The new 2005 American Heart Association/European Resuscitation Council/International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation guidelines recommended high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation with minimal interruptions to reduce the no-flow intervals. However, they also recommended identification and treatment of reversible causes or complicating factors. Therefore, clinicians must be trained to use echocardiography within the brief interruptions of advanced life support, taking into account practical and theoretical considerations. Focused echocardiographic evaluation in resuscitation management was evaluated by emergency physicians with respect to incorporation into the cardiopulmonary resuscitation process, performance, and physicians’ ability to recognize characteristic pathology. The aim of the focused echocardiographic evaluation in resuscitation management examination is to improve the outcomes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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