The state of point-of-care ultrasonography use and training in neonatal-perinatal medicine and pediatric critical care medicine fellowship programs

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The current state of point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) use and education in neonatal-perinatal medicine (NPM) and pediatric critical care medicine (PCCM) is unknown. Our aim was to quantify POCUS use, training and perceptions regarding education and barriers among the United States NPM and PCCM fellowship programs.

STUDY DESIGN:

A 14-question survey was emailed to the fellowship directors of all the United States NPM and PCCM fellowship programs.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 55% (52/95) and 59% (39/66) for NPM and PCCM programs, respectively. Over 90% of respondents in both groups believe that fellows and attendings should receive POCUS training. PCCM programs, compared with NPM, had greater access to POCUS machines (97% vs 63%, P < 0.001), and more often used POCUS for diagnoses and management (76% vs 29%, P < 0.001) and procedural guidance (95% vs 37%, P < 0.001). The most common indications were cardiac/hemodynamics, pulmonary pathology and vascular access in both specialties. PCCM reported more training to fellows (90% vs 29%, P < 0.001). Both group perceived lack of time to learn, lack of equipment/funds, liability concerns, lack of personnel to train physicians and cardiology/radiology resistance as significant barriers to POCUS implementation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both NPM and PCCM fellowship programs believe in the benefits of POCUS and that their physicians should receive the necessary training. Compared with PCCM, NPM fellowships programs have less access to POCUS machines and less frequently use POCUS and train their fellows and attendings. There remain significant barriers to utilization of POCUS, especially in NPM.

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