Ultrasound for healthcare providers

Key points about ultrasound 

  • This page contains information about ultrasound for healthcare providers.
  • Find information on common uses, common terminology and apps for emergency medicine.
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Ultrasound is a form of imaging modality used to produce images of soft tissues using non-ionising radiation.

An ultrasound transducer transmits high frequency sound waves to the human body. The sound waves are reflected by soft tissue organs back to the transducer. The reflected sound waves are then analysed by the transducer to produce an image. 

The common uses of ultrasound include:

  • diagnosis of heart failure
  • focused assessment with sonography for trauma
  • ultrasound-guided procedure such as venous access, insertion of chest tube, thoracocentesis, paracentesis
  • obstetrics and gynaecological diagnosis such as fibroids, anomaly scan, dating scan
  • abdominal conditions, eg, gallstones, cholecystitis
  • renal conditions such as hydronephrosis, renal mass
  • thyroid conditions such as thyroid nodules, mass.

  • Hyperechoic – bright (bones, fat, stones)
  • Hypoechoic – dark (cartilage, muscles)
  • Anechoic black (fluid)

"Ultrasound utilisation by emergency medicine physicians has dramatically increased over the last several years. As a majority of emergency rooms have started to store ultrasound machines in their department, it is essential physicians understand how to utilise these machines at the point of care. Mobile apps are fantastic tools for learning ultrasound due to their ability to easily display pictures and videos critical for ultrasound learning." (Top 5 emergency medicine ultrasound apps(external link) iMedicalApps, 2013)

5 recommended emergency medicine ultrasound apps

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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