I use bedside ultrasound to look for DVT’s usually in sick patients (read: hypotensive, trying to die). Given easy access to radiology ultrasound, I usually order radiology comprehensive ultrasounds on most of the usual leg swelling patients that I see in the ED. 5minsono video here.
Determining the existence of a AAA in a patient can be life-saving. It is not a particularly difficult exam to perform. Be sure to push down hard and be patient. Having the patient’s knees bent and arms resting at the side helps relax the belly and makes the exam easier. 5minsono video here.
After determining LV function, the next question to ask with bedside cardiac ultrasound is: Does the patient have a pericardial effusion? 5minsono video here. Remember to keep this in clinical context. A small effusion is unlikely to hemodynamically important but certainly could help point towards a diagnosis of pericarditis in the appropriate patient.
Bedside ultrasound assessment is aimed at two simple questions. The first and most obvious is this – What is the LV function? 5minsono video here. The main goal should be categorizing the function (qualitatively) into one of five groups: hyperdynamic, normal, moderately depressed, severely depressed, dead. The other question is: Does the patient have a pericardial effusion? 5minsono video here.
Cardiac ultrasound is one of the more complicated aspects of bedside ultrasound in that hearts are often in different orientations in different patients. 10 minute video on performing cardiac ultrasound here.
I will trust ultrasound any day over my stethoscope for finding pulmonary edema on lung exam. This is one of the easiest lung exams on ultrasound. Like all ultrasound findings, be sure to take b-lines in context with other clinical information. 5minsono video here.
If you need a quick refresher on the most basics of bedside ultrasound, here is a 2 minute video.