Focused Cardiac Ultrasound Training: How Much Is Enough?
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Focused transthoracic echocardiography (F-TTE) is an important tool to assess hemodynamically unstable patients in the Emergency Department. Although its scope has been defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians, more research is needed to define an optimal F-TTE training program, including assessment of proficiency. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to determine the effectiveness of current standards in post-residency training to reach proficiency in F-TTE. METHODS: Fourteen staff Emergency Physicians were enrolled in a standardized teaching curriculum specifically designed to meet the 2008 American College of Emergency Physicians' guidelines for general ultrasound training applied to echocardiography. This training program consisted of 6 h of didactics and 6 h of scanning training, followed by independent scanning over a 5-month period. Acquisition of echocardiographic knowledge was assessed by an online pre- and post-test. At the conclusion of the study, a hands-on skills test assessed the trainees' ability to perform and interpret F-TTE. RESULTS: Ninety percent of trainees passed the written post-test. Two views, the parasternal long and short axis, were easily obtainable, regardless of the level of training or the number of ultrasounds completed. Other views were more difficult to master, but strong trends toward increased competency were evident after 10 h of mixed didactic and scanning training and > 45 ultrasounds. CONCLUSIONS: A short, 12-h didactic training in F-TTE provided proficiency in image interpretation and in obtaining adequate images from the parasternal window. More extensive training is needed to master the apical and subcostal windows in a timely manner.
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ABSTRACT: Background Focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) is a simplified, clinician-performed application of echocardiography that is rapidly expanding in use, especially in emergency and critical care medicine. Performed by appropriately trained clinicians, typically not cardiologists, FoCUS ascertains the essential information needed in critical scenarios for time-sensitive clinical decision making. A need exists for quality evidence-based review and clinical recommendations on its use. Methods The World Interactive Network Focused on Critical UltraSound conducted an international, multispecialty, evidence-based, methodologically rigorous consensus process on FoCUS. Thirty-three experts from 16 countries were involved. A systematic multiple-database, double-track literature search (January 1980 to September 2013) was performed. The Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation method was used to determine the quality of available evidence and subsequent development of the recommendations. Evidence-based panel judgment and consensus was collected and analyzed by means of the RAND appropriateness method. Results During four conferences (in New Delhi, Milan, Boston, and Barcelona), 108 statements were elaborated and discussed. Face-to-face debates were held in two rounds using the modified Delphi technique. Disagreement occurred for 10 statements. Weak or conditional recommendations were made for two statements and strong or very strong recommendations for 96. These recommendations delineate the nature, applications, technique, potential benefits, clinical integration, education, and certification principles for FoCUS, both for adults and pediatric patients. Conclusions This document presents the results of the first International Conference on FoCUS. For the first time, evidence-based clinical recommendations comprehensively address this branch of point-of-care ultrasound, providing a framework for FoCUS to standardize its application in different clinical settings around the world.Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 07/2014; 27(7):683.e3. DOI:10.1016/j.echo.2014.05.001 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The importance of focused cardiac ultrasound (FCU) in Internal Medicine care has been recognized by the American Society of Echocardiography. The aim of this study was to test what realistic skill targets could be achieved in FCU, with a relatively short training (theoretical and practical) of 9 h offered to Internal Medicine certification board attending students, and if the addition of further 9 h of training could significantly improve the level of competence. Kappa statistic was used to calculate the inter-observer agreement (trainees/tutor). The agreement between the trainees (who completed the entire training) and the tutor was, respectively, “substantial” (k = 0.71) for the identification of pericardial effusion, “moderate” (k = 0.56–0.54) for the identification of marked right ventricular and left ventricular enlargement, “substantial” (k = 0.77) for the assessment of global cardiac systolic function by visual inspection and “fair” (k = 0.35) for the assessment of size and respiratory change in the diameter of the inferior cave vein (IVC). 18 h training in FCU provided proficiency in obtaining adequate images from the parasternal window without providing the ability to correctly master the apical and subcostal windows. As concerns the interpretative skills, only pericardial effusion and visual estimation of global systolic function could be correctly identified, while ventricular enlargement and IVC prove to be more difficult to evaluate. This study supports incorporating FCU into Internal Medicine fellowship training programs, and should facilitate the design of other similar training courses.Internal and Emergency Medicine 12/2014; 10(1). DOI:10.1007/s11739-014-1167-3 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of hands-on training at a bedside ultrasound (US) symposium ("Ultrafest") to improve both clinical knowledge and image acquisition skills of medical students. Primary outcome measure was improvement in multiple choice questions on pulmonary or Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) US knowledge. Secondary outcome was improvement in image acquisition for either pulmonary or FAST. Prospective cohort study of 48 volunteers at "Ultrafest," a free symposium where students received five contact training hours. Students were evaluated before and after training for proficiency in either pulmonary US or FAST. Proficiency was assessed by clinical knowledge through written multiple-choice exam, and clinical skills through accuracy of image acquisition. We used paired sample t-tests with students as their own controls. Pulmonary knowledge scores increased by a mean of 10.1 points (95% CI [8.9-11.3], p<0.00005), from 8.4 to a posttest average of 18.5/21 possible points. The FAST knowledge scores increased by a mean of 7.5 points (95% CI [6.3-8.7] p<0.00005), from 8.1 to a posttest average of 15.6/21. We analyzed clinical skills data on 32 students. The mean score was 1.7 pretest and 4.7 posttest of 12 possible points. Mean improvement was 3.0 points (p<0.00005) overall, 3.3 (p=0.0001) for FAST, and 2.6 (p=0.003) for the pulmonary US exam. This study suggests that a symposium on US can improve clinical knowledge, but is limited in achieving image acquisition for pulmonary and FAST US assessments. US training external to official medical school curriculum may augment students' education.The western journal of emergency medicine 01/2015; 16(1):143-8. DOI:10.5811/westjem.2014.11.23746