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Role of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in the Early Stages of Trauma Care


Purpose of Review

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been widely adopted in the management of trauma patients by emergency and surgical specialists. Advances in technology, portability, and affordability have contributed to its exponential growth, particularly in the field of trauma anesthesia where ultrasound usage has steadfastly blossomed in recent years.

Recent Findings

Studies and protocols have expanded beyond the oft-used focused assessment with sonography for trauma examination to include focused cardiac and lung examinations. POCUS may also be useful as an adjunct for airway management, vascular access, and intracranial pressure assessment. There has been a push to incorporate ultrasound use by paramedics and physicians in the pre-hospital trauma setting as well.


In this review, we discuss POCUS applications in the early stages of trauma care while emphasizing more recently published literature. This review is targeted toward anesthesia providers who wish to familiarize themselves with evidence-based applications of POCUS in various trauma settings.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Yi Deng.

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Frederick H. Kuo, Holger M. Baumann, Pablo Perez d’Empaire, and Yi Deng declare they have no conflict of interest.

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Kuo, F.H., Baumann, H.M., d’Empaire, P.P. et al. Role of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in the Early Stages of Trauma Care. Curr Anesthesiol Rep 10, 69–79 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40140-020-00369-7

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  • Point-of-care ultrasound
  • Trauma
  • Echocardiography
  • Trauma anesthesia