Research Paper Title
Is Point-of-care Ultrasound Accurate and Useful in the Hands of Military Medical Technicians? A Review of the Literature.
Over the past decade, point-of-care ultrasound (US) use by non-physician providers has grown substantially. The purpose of this article was to:
- Summarise the literature evaluating military medics’ facility at US;
- More clearly define the potential utility of military pre-hospital US technology; and
- Lay a pathway for future research of military pre-hospital US.
The authors performed a keyword search using multiple search engines. Each author independently reviewed the search results and evaluated the literature for inclusion. Of 30 studies identified, five studies met inclusion criteria. The applications included evaluation of cardiac activity, pneumothorax evaluation, and fracture evaluation. Additionally, a descriptive study demonstrated distribution of US exam types during practical use by Army Special Forces Medical Sergeants. No studies evaluated retention of skills over prolonged periods.
Multiple studies demonstrate the feasibility of training military medics in US. Even under austere conditions, the majority of studies conclude that medics can perform US with a high degree of accuracy. Lessons learned from these studies tend to support continued use of US in out-of-hospital settings and exploration of the optimal curriculum to introduce this skill.
Hile, D.C., Morgan, A.R., Laselle, B.T. & Bothwell, J.D. (2012) Is Point-of-care Ultrasound Accurate and Useful in the Hands of Military Medical Technicians? A Review of the Literature. Military Medicine. 177(8), pp.983-987.