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Study: Point-of-care ultrasound saves nearly $20,000 per patient in early shock

According to research being presented at CHEST World Congress this month, patients in early shock evaluated with point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) spent less time on medications that support blood pressure and showed trends toward fewer days being supported by mechanical ventilation and time in the ICU. This was associated with calculated cost savings of about $20,000 per patient.

In this controlled retrospective cohort study from researchers at Kern ICU at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, OR, United States, researchers examined use of POCUS ultrasound to evaluate intravascular volume status in early shock. The POCUS treatment group in the study had significantly less total time on vasoactive agents and a trend toward improved outcomes in all other measured end points when compared with the control group. These trends persisted despite the POCUS group having higher severity of illness scores.

“The use of point-of-care ultrasound by intensive care clinicians continues to increase, and studies demonstrating improvements in patient outcomes are of great importance,” said Daniel Mitchell, DO, lead study author. “In this study, decreased morbidity and calculated cost savings were very promising.

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More information: Daniel Mitchell, Using Point-of-Care Bedside Ultrasound for Volume Assessment in Early Shock: An Outcome Study, Chest, /04/2016,