Prehosp Disaster Med. 2022 May 20:1-12. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X22000796. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Non-physician performed point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is emerging as a diagnostic adjunct with the potential to enhance current practice. The scope of POCUS utility is broad and well-established in-hospital, yet limited research has occurred in the out-of-hospital environment. Many physician-based studies expound the value of POCUS in the acute setting as a therapeutic and diagnostic tool. This study utilized a scoping review methodology to map the literature pertaining to non-physician use of POCUS to improve success of peripheral intravenous access (PIVA), especially in patients predicted to be difficult to cannulate.
METHODS: Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched from January 1, 1990 through April 15, 2021. A thorough search of the grey literature and reference lists of relevant articles was also performed to identify additional studies. Articles were included if they examined non-physician utilization of ultrasound-guided PIVA (USGPIVA) for patients anticipated to be difficult to cannulate.
RESULTS: A total of 158 articles were identified. A total of 16 articles met the inclusion criteria. The majority of participants had varied experience with ultrasound, making accurate comparison difficult. Training and education were non-standardized, as was the approach to determining difficult intravenous access (DIVA). Despite this, the majority of the studies demonstrated high first attempt and overall success rates for PIVA performed by non-physicians.
CONCLUSION: Non-physician USGPIVA appears to be a superior method for PIVA when difficulty is anticipated. Additional benefits include reduced requirement for central venous catheter (CVC) or intraosseous (IO) needle placement. Paramedics, nurses, and emergency department (ED) technicians are able to achieve competence in this skill with relatively little training. Further research is required to explore the utility of this practice in the out-of-hospital environment.