Do emergency rooms offer ultrasound services? Do emergency rooms have the equipment necessary for ultrasound examination? These are some of the most common questions patients ask in online forums and through emails written to emergency rooms.
An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high frequency sounds waves to capture and provide images from inside the body. The technology allows doctors to diagnose problems with various body organs, vessels and tissues without necessarily making incisions.
Ultrasounds Scans in Emergency Rooms
Ultrasound technology is very prominent in emergency rooms and it has helped doctors diagnose and treat a plethora of infections. Initially, this technology was used solely in the evaluation of trauma patients to determine how serious the injuries were.
Thanks to its efficiency though, ultrasound technology soon started featuring prominently in other areas. Its use was expanded to include a number of both diagnostic and procedural applications. One of the main reason why ultrasound use became very common in emergency rooms was the introduction of triage. Triage fueled ultrasound’s use because emergency rooms needed to quickly diagnose patients to determine how serious their infections were.
Ultrasound provides very accurate images and provides live images which makes it very quick. This means that physicians and nurses can be able to quickly get the information they require to asses a patient’s medical condition in seconds and provide the necessary medication.
Furthermore, almost every single emergency room physician can be able to safely, quickly and accurately use ultrasound technology and obtain the desired results. This ease of use gives ultrasound technology an edge over the other technologies and it is not surprising that it features so prominently in emergency rooms.
Procedures which proved difficult in the past, were made easier thanks to ultrasound technology. Complex procedures such as pericardiocentesis, paracentesis, thoracostomy and detection of foreign bodies were made easier with ultrasound imaging.
As far as diagnostic screening is concerned, ultrasound technology is used in 4 main areas; Abdominal, pelvic, cardiac and trauma examination. Here is a quick look at how ultrasound is used the named areas;
Abdominal pains are a common reason for which people visit emergency rooms in America. Abdominal pains are indicative of serious illness to major abdominal organs such as the gallbladder, abdominal aorta and the kidney.
Through ultrasounds, emergency room physicians are able to diagnose complications such as kidney stones, gallstones, abdominal aortic aneurysm, aortic dilation, hydronephrosis, obstructive uropathy, calculi and may other abdominal infections.
Ultrasounds is used to not only detect these infections in the abdomen but to rule out the presence of other complications. There is nothing as hard as trying to guess what the problem with a patient is and ultrasounds helps to provide the certainty required.
Another area of interest in emergency rooms is the pelvic region. Pelvic ultrasound is crucial especially in pregnant women. A lot of women complain of pelvic pains and vaginal bleeding in their first trimester of pregnancy and this is where ultrasound is called upon.
With the help of ultrasound technology, emergency room doctors are able to diagnose various pregnancy related complications and provide the medical care required. Pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies, uterine pregnancy and potential miscarriages are diagnosed on time and the appropriate medication offered. Ultrasound is also used to monitor the baby’s progress and reveal the unborn baby’s gender even before the baby is born.
Heart problems are among the most serious complications reported in emergency rooms. With the help of ultrasound, doctors are able to diagnose the various cardiac problems reported and provide the appropriate treatment.
Cardiac ultrasound helps detect problems such as pericardial tamponade, effusion and vessel dilation on the surface of the heart. Without ultrasound imaging, it would be impossible or very difficult to diagnose these complications and the death toll from heart conditions would tremendously increase.
As earlier on mentioned, trauma examination was among the first uses of ultrasound. Ultrasound is crucial when it comes to examining trauma victims and helps identify the affected areas and pinpoint the exact problems.
Through ultrasound screening, doctors can identify cases of hemoperitoneum, hemopericardium and other complications arising from trauma. Ultrasound is preferred when it comes to trauma examination because it doesn’t expose victims to radiation or contrast which means that the screening can be carried out repeatedly until the desired results are obtained.
Here at Frontline Emergency Room in White Rock Lake Dallas, TX, ultrasound is part and parcel of our diagnosis and you can expect us to use it when necessary. We offer high quality no wait emergency care services provided by board certified physicians and registered nurses. Day or night, we are always available to serve you and offer the care you need.
If you are in Richmond or Dallas and are looking for an emergency room, look no further than our way. For more information on our services, give us a call today and we will gladly be of service.