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Fifteen-minute consultation: Point of care ultrasound in the management of paediatric shock


The use of point of care ultrasound (POCUS) in the assessment of the acutely shocked adult patient has been well established for over a decade. Comparatively, its use in paediatrics has been limited, but this is starting to change with the recent introduction of Children’s Acute Ultrasound training. This article highlights the pathophysiology of shock in children and demonstrates how bedside ultrasound can be used to assist decision making in the clinical assessment of the neonate, infant or older child presenting with undifferentiated shock. We discuss a structured protocol to use when performing the POCUS examination and explain how this could lead to a more rapid correlation of the ultrasound findings with the underlying cause of shock.

  • paediatric practice
  • imaging
  • intensive care
  • accident & emergency
  • basic science

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