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We evaluated the early haemodynamic profile of patients presenting with acute circulatory failure to the Emergency Department using focused echocardiography performed by emergency physicians after a dedicated training program.Patients presenting to the Emergency Department with an acute circulatory failure of any origin were successively examined by a recently trained emergency physician and by an expert in critical care echocardiography. Operators independently performed and interpreted on-line echocardiographic examinations to determine the leading mechanism of acute circulatory failure.Focused echocardiography could be performed in 100 of 114 screened patients (55 with sepsis/septic shock and 45 with shock of other origin) after a median fluid loading of 500 mL (IQR: 187–1500 mL). A hypovolemic profile was predominantly observed whether the acute circulatory failure was of septic origin or not (33/55 [60%] vs. 23/45 [51%]: p = 0.37). Although a vasoplegic profile associated with a hyperkinetic left ventricle was most frequently identified in septic patients when compared to their counterparts (17/55 [31%] vs. 5/45 [11%]: p = 0.02), early left or right ventricular failure was observed in 31% of them. Haemodynamic profiles were adequately appraised by recently trained emergency physicians, as reflected by a good-to-excellent agreement with the expert's assessment (Κ: 0.61 to 0.85).Hypovolemia was predominantly identified in patients presenting to the Emergency Department with acute circulatory failure. Although vasoplegia was more frequently associated with sepsis, early ventricular dysfunction was also depicted in septic patients. Focused echocardiography appeared reliable when performed by recently trained emergency physicians without previous experience in ultrasound.