Neonatal Ultrasound

Clinical benefits from the introduction of point of care ultrasound in the intensive care of newborns

Background

 

The critically ill newborn has a uniform clinical picture. However, the underlying aetiology can be varied. Thus, problems such as intracranial bleeds, hypovolaemia, cardiac failure, pneumothorax, tamponade, congenital heart disease, and PPHN may have similar acute clinical presentations. Rapid diagnosis of the actual problem is crucial for targeted therapy. This will optimize the possibility of intact survival and lower the risk of adverse effects due to initial treatment of several potential disease options, which may later be proven wrong. Point of care ultrasound may be used to distinguish the above-mentioned conditions. Neonates may be critically ill at any time of day, and a pediatric cardiologist or radiology expert is not always available within the desired timeframe to disentangle the clinical problem in a timely manner. It is therefore reasonable to assume that ultrasound adopted by the attending neonatologist would make a difference in selection of treatment, the time from clinical symptom to causal treatment, and ultimately thereby increase intact survival of critically ill newborn.

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