Bedside ultrasound--experience in a palliative care unit.
Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2009 Nov;18(6):642-4
Authors: Gishen F, Trotman I
Little has been published on the use of imaging in palliative care. This paper discusses the use of 'in-house' ultrasound at the bedside in a specialist palliative care unit. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the potential uses of bedside ultrasound in the hospice population with consideration of length of stay and cost. A single operator scanned inpatients using ultrasound in the specialist palliative care unit. The majority of these scans were done to evaluate and mark complex ascites prior to paracentesis. Other indications included marking pleural fluid prior to chest drain insertion, evaluating renal appearances and imaging bladders. Scans were done in 40 patients over a 17-month period enabling subsequent successful paracentesis in 25. The reasons for other scans included renal failure, urinary obstruction and confirmation of clinical diagnosis of liver metastases. All scans were done on the day of admission. This paper provides an anecdotal experience in improving clinical care and convenience to patients and offers a potential tool for future evaluation as a bedside aid to clinical management. The results indicate a potential for a reduction in length of inpatient stay.
PMID: 19490007 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]