Thursday, December 27, 2012

Point-of-care Ultrasound Is Useful In Pneumonia

I had pneumonia over the holidays.  So did my son.  The doctor wanted a chest x-ray, and I said I will ultrasound my chest when I get back to the office.  I am now at the office, and I picked up a little fluid in my lateral posterior chest cavity consistent with the pain I experienced over the last few days.  We are both on antibiotics, and I will monitor the fluid collection with ultrasound rather than a chest x-ray.  Saves time, money and x-rays.  BTW, I feel much better now.  Here's an article about ultrasound and pneumonia.

Point-of-care ultrasound is more accurate than the traditional method of auscultation by stethoscope in diagnosing pneumonia in children and young adults, and can even detect small pneumonias that a chest x-ray may miss, a Mount Sinai researcher reports in an article titled, "Prospective Evaluation of Point-of-Care Ultrasonography for the Diagnosis of Pneumonia in Children and Young Adults" in the online edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine published December 10, 2012.
These findings have important public health implications, especially in the developing world, as pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of five years every year – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
"The World Health Organization has estimated as many as three-quarters of the world's population, especially in the developing world, does not have access to any diagnostic imaging, such as chest x-ray, to detect pneumonia," said senior author James Tsung, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Many children treated with antibiotics may only have a viral infection-- not pneumonia. Portable ultrasound machines can provide a more accurate diagnosis of pneumonia than a stethoscope."
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