Implementation of an International Severe Infection Point-of-Care Ultrasound Research Network

Phabiola M. Herrera, Paul W. Blair, Trishul Siddharthan, Tiffany Fong, Simon Pollett, Danielle V. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapid, readily available, and cost-effective diagnostic and prognostic modality in a range of clinical settings. However, data to support its clinical application are limited. This project's main goal was to assess the effectiveness of standardizing lung ultrasound (LUS) training for sonographers to determine if universal LUS adoption is justified. Materials and Methods: We describe the effectiveness of an implementation of a LUS research training program across eight international study sites in Asia, Africa, and North America as part of prospective Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) and sepsis study cohorts (Rapid Assessment of Infection with SONography research network). Within our network, point-of-care LUS was used to longitudinally evaluate radiographic markers of lung injury. POCUS operators were personnel from a variety of backgrounds ranging from research coordinators with no medical background to experienced clinicians. Results: Following a standardized protocol, 49 study sonographers were trained and LUS images from 486 study participants were collected. After training was completed, we compared before and after image qualities for interpretation. The proportion of acceptable images improved at each site between the first 25 scans and the second 25 scans, resulting in 80% or greater acceptance at each study site. Conclusions: POCUS training and implementation proved feasible in diverse research settings among a range of providers. Standardization across ongoing cohort protocols affords opportunities for increased statistical power and generalizability of results. These results potentially support care delivery by enabling military medics to provide care at the point of injury, as well as aiding frontline clinicians in both austere and highly resourced critical care settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1246-e1252
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume189
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2024
Externally publishedYes

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