Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Austere Environments: A Complete Review of Its Utilization, Pitfalls, and Technique for Common Applications in Austere Settings

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2017 May;35(2):409-441. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2016.12.007.


With the advent of portable ultrasound machines, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has proven to be adaptable to a myriad of environments, including remote and austere settings, where other imaging modalities cannot be carried. Austere environments continue to pose special challenges to ultrasound equipment, but advances in equipment design and environment-specific care allow for its successful use. This article describes the technique and illustrates pathology of common POCUS applications in austere environments. A brief description of common POCUS-guided procedures used in austere environments is also provided.

Keywords: Austere; Battlefield; Disaster; High altitude; Military; Point of care; Resource limited; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Altitude
  • Disasters
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Military Medicine / methods
  • Point-of-Care Systems* / standards
  • Point-of-Care Systems* / statistics & numerical data
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*