POCUS in hospital pediatrics


PHM 2021 Session

Safe and (Ultra)sound: Why you should use POCUS in your Pediatric Practice


Ria Dancel, MD, FAAP, FACP

Session summary

Dr. Ria Dancel and her colleagues from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presented a broad overview of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) applications in the field of pediatric hospital medicine. They discussed its advantages and potential uses, ranging from common scenarios to critical care to procedural guidance. Using illustrative scenarios and interactive cases, she discussed the bedside applications to improve care of hospitalized children. The benefits and risks of radiography and POCUS were reviewed.

Dr. Kamakshya Patra

The session highlighted the use of POCUS in SSTI (skin and soft tissue infection) to help with differentiating cellulitis from abscesses. Use of POCUS for safer incision and drainages and making day-to-day changes in management was discussed. The ease and benefits of performing real-time lung ultrasound in different pathologies (like pneumonia, effusion, COVID-19) was presented. The speakers discussed the use of POCUS in emergency situations like hypotension and different types of shock. The use of ultrasound in common bedside procedures (bladder catheterization, lumbar ultrasound, peripheral IV placement) were also highlighted. Current literature and evidence were reviewed.

Key takeaways

  • Pediatric POCUS is an extremely valuable bedside tool in pediatric hospital medicine.
  • It can be used to guide clinical care for many conditions including SSTI, pneumonia, and shock.
  • It can be used for procedural guidance for bladder catheterization, lumbar puncture, and intravenous access.

Dr. Patra is a pediatric hospitalist at West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, Morgantown, and associate professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is interested in medical education, quality improvement and clinical research. He is a member of the Executive Council of the Pediatric Special Interest Group of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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