Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cardiologists New Stethescope

News?  Not really.  Cardiologists are increasingly using ultrasound as a screening tool in the office instead of a stethoscope.  Darn.  I though all cardiologist were taught heart sounds (They still are).  When I visit my Doctor he listens to my heart, which is part of the routine visit.  The quintessential image of a doctor with a stethoscope wrapped around his neck in a starched lab jacket is still a comforting image for the sick ( most of the time unless you have white coat paranoia).  Nowadays, doctors and their sonographers are screening patients with ultrasound. I think it is a great idea, as long as the person doing the test is properly trained.  Training is key.  Ask your health care professional if they are trained in the proper use of ultrasound before they put the probe on you.  Just some sage words because not all health care professionals are properly trained to use ultrasound properly.  Here is an article that discusses the cardiology aspect.

SAN FRANCISCO – Handheld ultrasound proved "vastly superior" to physical examination conducted by cardiologists for the evaluation of a variety of cardiovascular complaints in a head-to-head prospective trial.
All 250 study participants underwent a clinically indicated standard 2-D and Doppler transthoracic echocardiography exam. But first they received an initial clinical assessment with both a point-of-care, handheld ultrasound scan and a physical exam performed by randomly assigned cardiologists who had widely varying degrees of experience. The cardiologists’ physical exam took an average of 5 minutes, while the limited ultrasound evaluation performed with the commercially available VScan device took a mean of 8.2 minutes, Dr. Manish Mehta reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

Thanks Family Practice News

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