Blog

August 6, 2018

Emergency Room Go for Ultrasound

Emergency Room Go for Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body by using very high-frequency sound waves. Ultrasound imaging is also known as ultrasound scanning, sonography or echo diagram (when imaging the heart).

Frontline ER attends to all kinds of emergencies that would require Ultrasounds; in order to have an accurate picture of the problem and quickly give a proper diagnosis. Sonography can be used in the following main areas;

Pelvic  Examinations

It is very common, especially among pregnant women.  Emergency rooms receive so many cases of vaginal bleeding or pelvic pains during their first trimester. At this point, ultrasound technology is required.

Complications such as ectopic pregnancy, threatened abortion or any abnormalities can be addressed earlier. It can also be used to assess fetal growth, movement, heartbeat and even determine the sex of the baby.

Cardiac Examinations (Echocardiography)

The heart is one of the most complicated vessels in the body, and many cases of heart disease have been reported in ERs.

Echocardiography helps doctors to detect potentially life-threatening cardiac issues such as blockage of arteries, pericardial effusion, a blood clot in the lungs, or in screening those with suspected aortic dissection and heart ischemia. The use of Ultrasound is beneficial, without which it would be impossible to give an accurate diagnosis and treatment thereby increasing the death toll due to complications.

Abdominal Examinations

Abdominal pain has become a common complaint in the emergency care setting. Gallbladder disease causes severe abdominal pain and can also result in critical illness. Ultrasound helps to evaluate the gallbladder for the presence of gallstones which causes the majority of gallbladder illnesses.  Ultrasound can also assess the kidneys for signs of obstructing kidney stones.

Eye Examinations

For any patient presenting eye pain or visual loss, ultrasound of the eye can be helpful in the detection of orbital pathology. Ultrasound can detect vitreous haemorrhage, retinal detachments, dislocation of the lens, as well as evaluate the optic nerve sheath diameters to check for other diseases in the central nervous system.

Depending on the part of the body being examined, there are several methods of conducting the examination. Since you may be awake throughout the test, if you would wish to have the image described to you, only ask the sonographer.

Ultrasounds offer many advantages like;

It captures images of soft tissues that may not appear clearly on X-rays

Patients are not exposed to ionising radiation thus making this procedure much safer than CT Scans and X-ray.

Since they do not require any injections, needles or incisions, they are generally painless.

At FrontLine ER, preparations for ultrasound scans are not complicated, although it is recommended to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that can be removed easily when necessary. Different examinations require different preparations, and you will be given specific instructions for your type of scan when you arrive at the emergency room. However, during an emergency, ultrasound will still be performed without any prior preparation.

What to Expect During the Scan

The clear water-based gel will spread onto your skin over the scanning area. This gel helps to convey the sound waves to the microphone in the transducer.

The emergency physician will then press the transducer onto your skin and move it back and forth over the part that is being scanned. Since you will be awake throughout the examination, if you would like to have the image described to you, only ask.

You may also be asked to take deep breaths or change to different positions, to obtain the best possible images.  Subject to the type of scan being carried out, the session should take between five and thirty minutes.

The Results

In an emergency, the results are always available immediately, diagnosis is made quickly, and treatment begins right away. In other cases, the results can be sent to the patients’ medical specialist; this is primarily for pregnant women who may have their personal OB/GYN.

Psychological Benefits of Ultrasounds

Ultrasound has been used in pregnancy for almost 30 years and is generally considered a safe imaging technology.  Medical research has found no association between ultrasound exposure and the baby’s birth weight, childhood leukaemia’s, eyesight, or hearing complications. FrontLine ER recommends that scanning should not be conducted out without any apparent medical reasons. All ultrasound exposure should be warranted, and limited to the minimum needed to make a diagnosis.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that when pregnant women look at the ultrasound images of the fetus and see that it is healthy; chances are they are likely to reconsider their decisions especially if they wanted to have an abortion. We can safely say that sonograms have helped in reducing abortion rates.

If you are in Richmond or Dallas, visit FrontLine ER. We are open 24/7. Come and experience appropriate services, accurate diagnosis, and quality treatment from our board-certified doctors and nurses.

Emergency Care