Point-of-care ultrasound for the acute abdomen in the primary health care
1Departments of Family Medicine College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
2Departments of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
Keywords: Abdominal pain, acute abdomen, point-of-care ultrasound, primary care
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a focused examination, which is performed and interpreted at the bedside by the treating physician answering a specific clinical question. It is currently utilized as an essential adjunct to physical examination in many medical specialties. Recent advances in technology have made POCUS machines portable, affordable, and could be used with minimal training even by nonradiologists. This review aims to cover the fundamental physics of POCUS and its applications for diagnosing the acute abdomen in the primary health care including the most common causes encountered by family physicians. These are acute appendicitis, acute cholecystitis, renal colic, ectopic pregnancy, acute diverticulitis, bowel obstruction, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. We hope to encourage primary care physicians to incorporate POCUS in their routine clinical practice. We also highlight challenges encountered when using POCUS in the primary health care including limited availability and the need for proper training. Furthermore, we review the POCUS results when performed by primary health-care physicians. Integrating POCUS in primary health care empowers primary health‐care physicians to provide high‐quality, safe, and cost‐effective care to the patients.
How to cite this article: B. Khan MA, Abu-Zidan FM. Point-of-care ultrasound for the acute abdomen in the primary health care. Turk J Emerg Med 2020;20:1-11.
The images of cases have been collected over a period of 30 years. The paper does not have information or images that can identify any patient. Images are mainly radiological except one operative image for a patient treated 19 years ago. She could not be contacted after this long period of time to get her written consent.
Moien AB Khan participated in the idea, critically read the literature, drafted the first version of the paper, and approved its final version. Fikri M Abu-Zidan had the idea, critically read the literature, drew and supplied the clincial images, wrote sections of the paper, repeatedly edited the paper and approved its final version.
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.