The Economic Times Healthworld recently released a short documentary exploring how point-of-care ultrasound is proving beneficial in improving patient outcomes at Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, one of the renowned multi-specialty hospitals located in the southern region of India. In the documentary, Healthworld interacted with the point-of-care physicians at the hospital about their experiences & outlook towards Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS).
The physicians at CMC are currently using the Sonosite M-Turbo, Edge II and X-Porte color doppler ultrasound systems in various indoor departments for varied clinical applications. In the anesthesia, ICU & neuro intensive care departments, these devices have tremendously helped to reduce the costs associated with procedural complications while increasing patient safety.
Dr. Raj Sahajanandan, Professor & Head, Department of Anesthesia said that the point-of-care ultrasound is extensively utilized to perform regional nerve blocks, FAST and FATE exams and guided vascular access in their department. He also mentioned that they organize various basic & advanced hands-on Ultrasound workshops annually, to teach about the role of point-of-care ultrasound in anesthesia.
Dr. Shalini Nair, Professor & Head, Dept. of Neurological Sciences said that they have been routinely deploying Ultrasound for assessing pupillary movement on traumatic facial injury, non-invasive measurement of ICP, measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) and for Ultrasound guided vascular access, and this device has significantly helped them in reducing the complications rates in patients.
Dr. Nair also quoted that “In the hardest of times, the Sonosite system is the best friend we have during COVID time. Since chest X-rays are difficult to get, it’s easier for us to do the chest ultrasound at the patient’s bedside repeatedly. Ultrasound acts as an integral part for us in deciding the right diagnosis for COVID-19 patients”.
Dr. Kishore Pichamuthu, Professor & Head, Department of Medical ICU stated that Ultrasound has become an integral part of his routine clinical practice, and he is using it extensively for almost all ICU applications such as head Ultrasound, evaluate raised ICP, lung Ultrasound, echocardiography for hemodynamic assessment, abdomen imaging and vascular evaluation.
He added that despite various challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, POCUS has proven to be extremely valuable in the care of COVID-19 patients. Due to its easy mobility, a compact Ultrasound machine allows for quicker diagnosis and since it is easier to disinfect, the patient doesn’t have to be moved from the isolation ward for clinical decision making.