by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 09, 2020
The FDA has approved lung and cardiac imaging for signs of COVID-19 with the use of any product from FUJIFILM Sonosite’s POCUS portfolio.
Equipped with a range of transducers and accessories, Fujifilm’s point-of-care ultrasound solutions are designed to enhance physician time-to-diagnosis, patient outcomes, procedural efficiency and workflow. Among them are Sonosite PX, Sonosite SII, Sonosite Edge II, Sonosite X-Porte, Sonosite M-Turbo and Sonosite iViz.
"Point-of-care ultrasound is like a Swiss Army knife in healthcare, particularly for the critical patient, encompassing everything from the initial assessment to obtaining venous access with a peripheral IV or central line to rapidly initiate treatment, airway assessment, evaluation of the lung, and a full shock assessment," Dr. Diku Mandavia, senior vice president and chief medical officer of FUJIFILM Sonosite, told HCB News.
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While a good test, CT is not as readily available and often requires transport of critically ill patients. Digital radiography can show many problems that are similar but not the same as signs of COVID-19 on a chest X-ray, and cannot accurately distinguish between the virus and other respiratory infections, such as the flu or pneumonia.
Ultrasound meanwhile can identify signs of COVID-19 at the point of care without having to transport an infectious patient out of isolation to a CT scanner. This saves on having to disinfect the scanner, which can take approximately one hour, according to the American College of Radiology, and is a comfort to COVID-19 patients, many of whom are hypoxic and can have trouble moving from one place to another.
POCUS offers a variety of benefits in its assessment of pulmonary and cardiovascular implications stemming from the virus, including:
● imaging and evaluating suspected lung complications to limit X-ray and CT scan use
● evaluating for lung improvement or worsening of COVID-19 diagnosed patients
● evaluating the need for advanced airway or mechanical ventilation
● assisting with ventilator and weaning strategies
● evaluating lung complications in COVID-19 patients that are in prone position
In addition, the later stages of COVID-19 in severe patients are often characterized by significant cardiac manifestations. With POCUS, clinicians can quickly diagnose and monitor these complications to keep the patient safe. It is for these reasons and the fact that chest X-rays can only identify signs of an infection that most medical societies advise against the sole use of a chest X-ray or CT scan to diagnose COVID-19.