The use of ultrasound in Emergency Medicine has greatly increased over the last several years as this technology has been embraced by emergency physicians as an efficient way to evaluate patients with a variety of clinical conditions.
Under the direction of the ultrasound director, Brian Tollefson, MD, and assistant directors Andrew Anderson, MD, and Nick Hoda, MD, this technology has been fully integrated into the day-to-day practice in the Emergency Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as well as into the curriculum for the residents and the research activities of the department.
The Emergency Department has two new Sonosite M-Turbo ultrasound machines for exclusive use in the Emergency Department. The faculty and senior residents are very experienced in the operation of these machines in a variety of clinical pathology, including trauma, hepatobiliary, cardiac, vascular, ocular, obstetrical, gynecological, urological and musculoskeletal. Ultrasound is also extensively used for procedural guidance and is an integral part of the evaluation of undifferentiated hypotension.
Emergency ultrasound training represents a significant part of the residency curriculum. PGY1 residents are exposed to ultrasound from the very beginning of their residency by using the machine with faculty guidance in the evaluation of patients. There are several didactic sessions on the basics of ultrasound presented as a block at the beginning of residency training and as a part of the regular conference schedule throughout the year. During the PGY2 year, each resident has a four-week block devoted to emergency ultrasound. During the ultrasound rotation, the residents receive didactic sessions and hands-on guidance in basic and advanced techniques of emergency ultrasound.
The Department of Emergency Medicine is also very active in emergency ultrasound research. Several research projects are currently ongoing, including musculoskeletal evaluation, prehospital trauma evaluation, dehydration evaluation and sideline sports medicine applications.