Point of Care Ultrasound Training Advances Emergency Care at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

CHATHAM-KENT: August 3, 2017 – Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s (CKHA) Emergency physicians recently participated in advanced training in Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) – a portable machine that aids in faster patient diagnoses. Quickly becoming best practice in Emergency Departments (ED) across Canada, POCUS helps physicians assess patients at the bedside who present with critical symptoms. This two-day event held at CKHA’s Chatham Campus was lead by POCUS experts from across Ontario.
“Point of Care Ultrasound is viewed as the modern day stethoscope so physicians can look inside the body rather than just listen to the body,” said Dr. Anthony Dixon, Chief and Program Medical Director of Emergency Medicine, CKHA. “POCUS helps us quickly diagnose if a patient’s condition is an emergency.” 
CKHA’s Emergency physicians recently took part in a two-day advanced training course in Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS). POCUS helps physicians assess patients at the bedside who present with critical symptoms and aids in faster diagnoses.
At both the Chatham and Sydenham Campuses, state-of-the-art Point of Care Ultrasounds have been acquired to assist physicians in the ED and an additional portable machine at the Chatham Campus will help inpatients who experience cardiac arrest. Typically patients who receive this ultrasound present with problems related to their heart, chest, abdomen and have low blood pressure. “This helps us see how their heart is functioning. Or for example, if a patient has abdominal pain, we can look for evidence of disease in the gallbladder or problems with the kidney,” said Dr. Dixon. 
At CKHA, all Emergency physicians have obtained Level 1 certification in POCUS which covers basic parameters such as the heart and the abdomen. Sixteen of CKHA’s ED physicians are now trained in Level 2 advanced certification, which focuses on advanced applications and examines in-depth details of the body system. Before becoming certified in Level 2, thirty hours of online education are completed, and a number of supervised scans and exams must be passed to ensure that each physician is knowledgeable and comfortable with the ultrasound applications. 
The opportunity to receive hands-on training from POCUS experts across Ontario means CKHA’s ED physicians have the knowledge and tools at their fingertips to provide efficient care and better management of patients. 
Dr. Matthew Kennedy, an ED physician who participated in the Level 2 training was appreciative to receive the educational opportunity. “This state-of-the-art training in advanced ultrasound skills will be an asset to the emergency services we provide at CKHA. I look forward to using these skills to enhance the safety and efficiency of bedside procedures I perform in real time for diagnosis and treatment.” 
POCUS advanced training was made possible at CKHA with the assistance of the physician group’s self-funding, coordination from the Chief of Staff Office and the Housekeeping Department, Mindray Medical for lending the training machines and the donation of the Dr. Don Patterson Learning Centre.
For more information please contact:
Fannie Vavoulis
Director, Communications & Medical Affairs

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