Urgent Ultrasound Guided Hemodynamic Assessments by a Pediatric Medical Emergency Team: A Pilot Study
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PURPOSE: To determine the feasibility of using the Ultrasound Cardiac Output Monitor (USCOM) as an adjunct during hemodynamic assessments by a pediatric medical emergency team (PMET). METHODS: Pediatric in-patients at McMaster Children's Hospital aged under 18 years requiring urgent PMET consultation, were eligible. Patients with known cardiac outflow valve defects, Pediatric Critical Care Unit in-patients, and those in cardiorespiratory arrest, were excluded. The primary outcome was feasibility, and the ease of USCOM transport and application as assessed by a self-administered user questionnaire. Secondary outcomes included the quality of USCOM measurements, and agreement in clinical versus USCOM-derived assessments. RESULTS: Forty-one patients from 85 eligible PMET consultations were enrolled between March and August 2011. A total of 55 USCOM assessments were performed on 36 of 41 (87.8%) participants. USCOM could not be completed in 5 (12.2%) participants due to patient agitation (n = 4) and emergent care (n = 1). USCOM was reported as easy to transport and apply by 97.4% and 94.7% of respondents respectively, not obstructive to patient care by 94.7%, and yielded timely measurements by 84.2% respondents. USCOM tracings were of good quality in 41 (75.9%) assessments. Agreement between clinical and USCOM-derived hemodynamic assessments by two independent raters was poor (Rater 1: κ = 0.094; Rater 2: κ = 0.146). CONCLUSION: USCOM can be applied by a PMET during urgent hemodynamic assessments in children. While USCOM has been validated in stable children, its role in guiding hemodynamic resuscitation and informing therapeutic goals in a hemodynamically unstable pediatric population requires further investigation.
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