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It is traditionally taught that the location to place an ultrasound probe to detect a pneumothorax with point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is the anterior chest, given the theory that air will collect at the least dependent area in the supine patient. There is a wide variety of scanning protocols with varying accuracy and completeness. We sought to assess the optimal area to scan for diagnosing pneumothorax by mapping the location of traumatic pneumothorax on computed tomography (CT).
Patients were selected after a retrospective cohort of adult patients who presented to a regional trauma center with a pneumothorax diagnosed on CT. Data were extracted using a standardized data collection tool, and 20% of charts were reviewed by two reviewers. Predefined zones were used to map the areas of pneumothoraces. Theoretical sensitivity and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported.
A total of 203 traumatic pneumothoraces were reviewed from 2006 to 2016. The majority of the pneumothoraces were found in an area defined by the para-sternal border and the mid-clavicular line from the inferior aspect of the clavicle to the physiologic lung point (liver on the right, heart on the left). The theoretical sensitivity for pneumothorax of scanning this area was 91.6% (95% CI, 86.9–95%).
This study suggests any POCUS scanning protocol for traumatic pneumothorax should include an area from the inferior border of the clavicle at the parasternal border down to the liver or cardiac lung points and then the mid clavicular line down to the liver or cardiac lung points.
Emergency medicine point-of-care ultrasonography (EM-PoCUS) is a core competency for residents in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and College of Family Physicians of Canada emergency medicine (EM) training programs. Although EM-PoCUS fellowships are currently offered in Canada, there is little consensus regarding what training should be included in a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship curriculum or how this contrasts with the training received in an EM residency.
To conduct a systematic needs assessment of major stakeholders to define the essential elements necessary for a Canadian EM-PoCUS fellowship training curriculum.
We carried out a national survey of experts in EM-PoCUS, EM residency program directors, and EM residents. Respondents were asked to identify competencies deemed either nonessential to EM practice, essential for general EM practice, essential for advanced EM practice, or essential for EM-PoCUS fellowship trained (‘‘expert’’) practice.
The response rate was 81% (351 of 435). PoCUS was deemed essential to general EM practice for basic cardiac, aortic, trauma, and procedural imaging. PoCUS was deemed essential to advanced EM practice in undifferentiated symptomatology, advanced chest pathologies, and advanced procedural applications. Expert-level PoCUS competencies were identified for administrative, pediatric, and advanced gynecologic applications. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated that there was a need for EM-PoCUS fellowships, with an ideal length of 6 months.
This is the first needs assessment of major stakeholders in Canada to identify competencies for expert training in EM-PoCUS. The competencies should form the basis for EM-PoCUS fellowship programs in Canada.