History of emergency and critical care ultrasound: the evolution of a new imaging paradigm

Crit Care Med. 2007 May;35(5 Suppl):S126-30. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000260623.38982.83.


The tradition of clinical ultrasound in the hands of physicians who provide critical care to the most acutely ill patients stretches back into the 1980s and is rich with experiences from surgical, emergency medicine, and other practices. Now, as critical care ultrasound explodes around the world, it is important to realize the path its development has taken and learn from trials and tribulations of early practitioners in the field. The development and battles for the right to use ultrasound at the patient's bedside for >20 yrs is described in relation to its emergency medicine and surgical origins. Approaches to education, scanning, documentation, and organization at the national and regional levels are described.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / history*
  • Emergency Medicine / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography / history*
  • United States