Fetch San Diego keynote speaker Dr Mariana Pardo breaks down performing ultrasounds to encourage their use on each patient
According to Mariana Pardo, BVSc, MV, DACVECC, it’s a recurring theme in history for people to be hesitant to implement new technology in medicine because they find it cumbersome. She began her keynote presentation1 on the final day of the Fetch dvm360® conference in San Diego, California, by quoting John Forbes in the 1800s and his thoughts on the stethoscope at the time: “That it will ever come into general use, notwithstanding its value, is extremely doubtful; because its beneficial application requires much time and gives a good bit of trouble both to the patient and the practitioner.” Now the stethoscope is universally used for each visit in both human and veterinary medicine, and Pardo aims for the same to be done with the ultrasound.
Therefore, she outlined the basics and practical skills for incorporating point of care ultrasounds in daily practice to bolster patient care. “There’s so much information that you can get from using ultrasounds on your day-to-day basis and it might seem that it requires a lot of knowledge, but I’m going to try to simplify it for you and show you how much information you can garnish that will just become complementary to what we are doing,” Pardo said.
Pardo recommended to first choose the appropriate ultrasound probe based on the application:
There are 4 main movements when performing ultrasounds including to slide, tilt, rotate, or rock it back and forth.
“Start getting used to using your hands with ultrasounds, practice on every single patient. If you don’t recognize normal structures, how are you going to recognize a patient who’s not doing well? So honestly for me, my ultrasound exam is part of my whole physical exam.”
The steps of the process include:
“You want to try to have the place of interest you’re looking at to be in the center of the screen,” Pardo advised. “Once you get that image where you want, then you’re going to keep that depth at that point and normally you can just scroll up and down and that’s going to show you measurements of how deep you are.”
To conclude, Pardo summarized that using point of care ultrasounds requires an understanding of it and how to use all the knobs and settings. Not to mention, practice makes perfect when it comes to identifying normal versus abnormal structures to offer patients the most high-quality care.
Pardo M. Hocus Pocus! Integrating ultrasound in your day-to-day practice. Presented at: Fetch dvm360® Conference; San Diego, California. December 2-4, 2022.