The role of bedside point-of-care ultrasound evaluation of the lung in the critically ill patient
Patients in the intensive care unit require specialized care, hence the birth of a subspecialty that focuses on care specific to the needs of such patients. Critical care medicine has metamorphosed from being just another medical subspecialty to one with a distinct set of challenges with its specific time-efficient solutions that are designed keeping in mind the limitations in resources imposed by acute medical conditions. Bedside critical care ultrasound (US) has been used by intensivists for many years primarily for procedural guidance and assessment of hemodynamics. Applying the same principles to recognize the artefactual patterns on US examination of the lung can provide real-time information on lung conditions as well as allows the recognition of temporal patterns in these disease states. These advantages are unparalleled in terms of safety for the patient with no risk of radiation and associated with minimal operating costs. We will discuss the application of this technology to identify common diseases in the intensive care unit and its unique role in modern medicine.