Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) allows for rapid, real-time evaluation of cardiovascular and respiratory pathology. The advent of portable, handheld devices and increased recognition by accrediting bodies of the importance of POCUS in guiding clinical decision making has expanded its use across the hospital setting and within medical training programs. POCUS allows clinicians to begin immediate investigation into their differential diagnoses without waiting for a formal imaging study, enhancing the speed of clinical interpretation. In addition to its diagnostic utility, POCUS can also inform clinicians of patients’ response to interventions when serial exams are obtained. This review examines the role of POCUS in the context of frequently encountered patients and highlights the key clinical questions that can be readily answered by POCUS.
- Respiratory failure
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