Ultrasound scanners are available in an increasing number of clinical areas. They are excellent for identifying the presence of a pleural effusion and the optimal site for aspration. The National Patient Safety Agency recommends their use prior to insertion of chest drains for pleural effusions.
This book is for clinicians who want to start using portable ultrasound scanners to look at the chest. It will teach you some basic physics and how to adjust the controls on the scanner. Then you will learn how to recognise a pleural effusion. When you are proficient at identifying pleural effusions, you can start to look for some of the other clinical conditions which are shown in the many illustrations in this book. There are examples of the artefacts which may catch you out, with diagrams to explain how they are caused.
Once you have started to use ultrasound at the bedside, you will not want to undertake “blind” pleural aspirations ever again. Competency in this technique is becoming the norm for those involved in managing patients with disease of the chest; this book will help you along that road.