Synopsis of the point-of-care ultrasound assessment for perioperative emergencies

Can J Anaesth. 2019 Apr;66(4):448-460. doi: 10.1007/s12630-019-01303-0. Epub 2019 Feb 19.


This module will introduce the concept of a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) examination for perioperative clinicians. A focused cardiac examination of ventricular filling and function is presented. An examination of the inferior vena cava is also reviewed as a tool to assess volume status. Finally, a brief examination of the lung and pleura is explored to aid the clinician in situations of patient hypoxia and difficult ventilation. Limited ultrasound cardiorespiratory examinations can be performed by non-cardiologists and non-radiologists. Information drawn from POCUS may aid in diagnosis and early rescue in perioperative care. Point-of-care ultrasound is likely to become standard of care for anesthesiologists in the same way that stethoscopy is presently.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / methods
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Perioperative Care / methods*
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*