Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) plays a strategic role in the diagnostic and therapeutic evaluation of critically ill patients and, especially, in those who are haemodynamically unstable. In this context, POCUS allows a more precise identification of the cause, its differential diagnosis, the eventual coexistence with another entity and, finally, guiding of the therapeutic approach. It implies a portable use of ultrasound in acute settings covering different specified protocols, such as echocardiography, vascular, lung or abdominal ultrasound. This article reviews POCUS application in the emergency department or the intensive care unit, focused on severely compromised patients with cardiogenic shock with an emergent bedside assessment. Considering the high mortality rate of this entity, POCUS provides the intensivist/clinician with an appropriate tool for accurate diagnoses and a timely management plan. The authors propose practical algorithms for the diagnosis of patients using POCUS in these settings.
This article is part of the Emerging concepts in heart failure management and treatment Special Issue: https://www.drugsincontext.com/special_issues/emerging-concepts-in-heart-failure-management-and-treatment