July 14, 2021

From the Chair

Dear Ultrasound Section Members,

Summer is here! COVID rates are diminishing. Places are opening up. People are slowly out and about. I hope you are all able to take a moment to reflect, replenish and re-energize with the warm weather. The Ultrasound Section has been bustling with activity all year. Here are a few highlights (and lowlights too).

In April 2021, ACEP released three policies pertinent for our section members that I would like to bring to your attention. The ACEP policy statement Guideline for Ultrasound Transducer Cleaning and Disinfection was updated, while ACEP endorsed a multi-society joint policy statement for the Disinfection of Ultrasound Transducers Used for Percutaneous Procedures. This has been incredibly helpful to advocate for those who are undergoing ED site visits. The ACEP policy statement regarding Ultrasound Guided Nerve Blocks was published to support emergency physicians who perform ultrasound guided regional anesthesia and non-opioid pathways for pain management. Many thanks to our Ultrasound section Safety subcommittee and Drs. Jason Nomura and Arun Nagdev for their work on these policies.

This month’s newsletter is full of great, informative content. Please check out the toolkit from the Community Ultrasound subcommittee on how to start an ultrasound program within the ED. I am grateful for this incredible guide spearheaded by Drs. Christopher Kumetz, Maria O’Rourke and Brianne Steele to assist our colleagues. Regardless of community or academic sites, this guide is extremely useful and relevant for all ultrasound leaders.

Drs. Rachel Liu and Jacob Schoeneck, co-chairs of the Emerging Technologies subcommittee, have an innovative article describing portable ultrasound remote guidance systems. As telehealth expands its reach, so will tele-ultrasound in the areas of patient care and education. Please read this article and take a peek at what lies ahead during the breakout session at the ACEP Scientific Assembly in Boston after our section business meeting.

Have you seen the revised Sonoguide? Thanks to our co-editors, Drs. Dasia Esener and Gabe Rose, and all the contributing authors. Special thanks to FUJIFILM Sonosite, Inc. for their sponsorship for the project that started from an ACEP section grant. The Sonoguide looks wonderful with separate basic, advanced and procedural sections. Please check back frequently as new content and chapters will be added throughout the year. What would Emergency Ultrasound be without a FAST section?

Speaking of Emergency Ultrasound, how do you best identify with our subspecialty? Do you perform point-of-care ultrasound? Emergency ultrasound? Bedside ultrasonography? Clinical ultrasonography? It has been 20 years since the ACEP Emergency Ultrasound Guidelines were first published in June 2001, yet we are constantly thwarting threats to our subspecialty practice from others. There are current threats to performing POCUS. There are real threats to reimbursement for our patient care with POCUS. It may be time to solidify what we do best. Is it Emergency Ultrasound? We should be proud of the depth and breadth of education, training, research, quality assurance and patient safety, leadership and administration we have devoted to Emergency Ultrasound all these years. I will provide more details at the ACEP Scientific Assembly in Boston, MA. For anyone interested in continuing to advocate for our subspecialty, please consider placing your name on the ballot this summer for the section Chair. It would be great to see you in person on October 25, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 3:30pm at our annual section meeting.

Until then, have a great summer!

Penelope Lema, MD FACEP

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