March 12, 2019

From the Chair

We’re all familiar with the Dog Days of summer but how about these daylight shortened days of winter? As the holiday season comes to a full close we in the US embark on day shifts where you come in during the dark and leave during sundown. It’s almost like a daytime overnight shift! No worries, though, because ultrasound will shine a light on any shift! In this newsletter we’re reminded of the traditional (can’t believe we can say “traditional” POCUS in EM) applications in cases of AAA, abscess drainage and renal stones while looking forward to advanced applications such as bowel, fluid status, and ultrasound guided regional anesthesia.

We also welcome 94 new fellows into the field and congratulate the people at SCUF for engaging with the NRMP on a successful first ultrasound fellowship match. Shout out to Jeremy Boyd! These new fellows will one day lead our section through new challenges unforeseen many years ago. Fellowship Directors, make sure you begin introducing your new fellows to our subcommittees such as POCUS Residency Education and EM POCUS Coding and Reimbursement.

Speaking of new challenges, this issue summarizes the challenges surrounding POCUS infection control! For a great summary on the ACEP Probe disinfection guidelines read Scott Kurpiel’s column and remember to check your probe’s manufacturing guidelines because Tegaderms can pull off that spongy face of some probes, some low-level disinfectants corrode the housing glue, and some probes are not approved for repeated high-level disinfections. The moral of the story: know your equipment.

Speaking of equipment, Twitter exploded this past few weeks with new handhelds going out. For a peek check out the #ACEP_EUS Twitter feed and make sure you know what’s at stake if you begin using your handheld during clinical work. For a primer, please check out ACEP’s guidelines on Handheld Devices! Amazing how these devices may impact austere environments illustrated by this issue’s focus on international applications. It’s amazing that you can draw a line between POCUS and Ascariasis!

Finally, I’d like to close on the importance of knowing the POCUS credentialing landscape. The bottom line: avoid participation in organizations that wish to credential your skill. This section’s seminal work to establish ACEP’s Ultrasound Guidelines in 2001 (recently updated in 2016) and other supportive guidelines and policies paved the path to establishing EM POCUS within the scope of practice of emergency medicine. Through research and scholarship many members established EM POCUS as our own skill that exists irrespective of outside bodies offering unnecessary credentials. In other words, you’ve earned POCUS skill through your EM experience!

I look forward to seeing you all at ACEP19 in Denver, CO!

Dan Theodoro MD MSCI, FACEP

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