Ultrasonography is increasingly applied in the critical care setting. With advancements in technology, ultrasonography has become easier to use, with smaller machines, and more fundamental to patient assessment. Ultrasonography is a hands-on tool that brings real-time, dynamic information to the bedside. Patients in the critical care setting often have unstable hemodynamics or a tenuous respiratory status; thus, the use of ultrasonography to augment the assessment greatly improves patient safety. This article explores how to differentiate the etiology of shock with the adjunct of critical care echocardiography. In addition, the article examines how various ultrasonography techniques can be used to diagnose other life-threatening cardiac conditions, such as pulmonary embolism or cardiac tamponade, and the role of echocardiography in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Critical care providers can add echocardiography and the information it provides to their repertoire to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes.

You do not currently have access to this content.