June 12, 2020

From the Chair

Hello ACEP Ultrasound Section Members

The last time I wrote the “Chairs Corner” was back in February and the word “Covid” did not appear in it once. It’s shocking how our worlds could be so different in a few short months and my concerns then feel rather trivial. I hope you all are healthy, both physically and mentally. Some of us saw the surge, while others only prepared for it, but regardless all of our lives have been affected by the pandemic.

If you don’t have time to read my Chair’s Corner here are the highlights from this newsletter, the ACEP ultrasound section, and ACEP as a whole.

This Newsletter includes excellent coverage on ultrasound device disinfection (if you’re not worried about this you should be).

  • Lung ultrasound in Covid
  • A description of military Prolonged Field Care
  • A primer on capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers
  • A section on Covid across the globe
  • A summary of evidence around advance practice providers using point-of-care ultrasound

ACEP ultrasound section town hall on Covid

The ACEP Covid Field Guide

In every crisis there is a silver lining. Personally, I take great satisfaction in being on the “front line” and using the awesome skillset of emergency medicine to “save the world” as my daughters put it. When Covid testing was extremely limited (as it may still be in your shop) and we were putting up tents outside our ED doors, ultrasound as a diagnostic tool finally got the limelight it deserves. There is a reason that ultrasound is the only medical imaging modality on the Space Station and Everest Base Camp, and, at least at my shop, the pandemic generated significant new enthusiasm for thoracic ultrasound. Thanks to Dr. Yale Tung Chen, lung ultrasound was a CNN headline, which I never in a million years would have suspected I’d see. We have rallied, collaborated, educated, and researched our way through the last few months, and it makes me so proud.

While the wartime like mentality of the immediate response to Covid was easy, at least for me, to get behind, I believe that we are entering a marathon phase where we must learn to live with Covid. We have to live with the sorrow of those we lost, the economic catastrophe of the shutdown and the impact it has had on us, our families, neighbors, and employers, and with the pressure ulcers on our faces from the N95 masks that I suspect we’ll be wearing on shift for months to years to come. Again, can I say how proud I am of all of you?

This newsletter is one of our best yet with great articles on Covid lung ultrasound, a description of military Prolonged Field Care, a primer on capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers, and a summary of evidence around Advanced Practice Providers using point-of-care ultrasound.

For those of you who are trying to figure out how to teach a hand-on skill in a socially distanced world you’re not alone in this challenge. On July 1st many of us will have new medical students, residents, and fellows, who need direct supervision and our historical practice of group didactics and teaching at the bedside may be different. The ultrasound section is collaborating with the education-focused subcommittees, AEUS, AAEM, and others construct a document to provide guidance and resources. The goal is to have this published before July starts.

Lastly, some of you may be wondering if ACEP20 this fall will occur in-person or digitally, and if you’ll even be allowed to travel if it is in-person. The short answer is we don’t know yet. My suggestion is to request the time off regardless because no matter what the format, there will be a meeting and it will be awesome. As soon as I have more information on this, I will send it out.

All the best,

Nova Panebianco, MD, MPH, FACEP
nova.panebianco@uphs.upenn.edu, @novaleda