Procedural Applications of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2021 Aug;39(3):529-554. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2021.04.006. Epub 2021 Jun 11.


Point-of-care ultrasound can improve efficacy and safety of pediatric procedures performed in the emergency department. This article reviews ultrasound guidance for the following pediatric emergency medicine procedures: soft tissue (abscess incision and drainage, foreign body identification and removal, and peritonsillar abscess drainage), musculoskeletal and neurologic (hip arthrocentesis, peripheral nerve blocks, and lumbar puncture), vascular access (peripheral intravenous access and central line placement), and critical care (endotracheal tube placement, pericardiocentesis, thoracentesis, and paracentesis). By incorporating ultrasound, emergency physicians caring for pediatric patients have the potential to enhance their procedural scope, confidence, safety, and success.

Keywords: Bedside ultrasound; POCUS; Pediatric emergency medicine; Ultrasound-guided procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Abscess / surgery
  • Arthrocentesis / methods
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / methods
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods
  • Child
  • Drainage / methods
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods
  • Nerve Block / methods
  • Paracentesis / methods
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine*
  • Peripheral Nerves / diagnostic imaging
  • Peritonsillar Abscess / diagnostic imaging
  • Peritonsillar Abscess / therapy
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Spinal Puncture / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional*