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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-11

Point-of-care ultrasound for the acute abdomen in the primary health care


1 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Fikri M Abu-Zidan
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, PO Box: 17666 Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2452-2473.276384

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Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a focused examination, which is performed and interpreted at the bedside by the treating physician answering a specific clinical question. It is currently utilized as an essential adjunct to physical examination in many medical specialties. Recent advances in technology have made POCUS machines portable, affordable, and could be used with minimal training even by nonradiologists. This review aims to cover the fundamental physics of POCUS and its applications for diagnosing the acute abdomen in the primary health care including the most common causes encountered by family physicians. These are acute appendicitis, acute cholecystitis, renal colic, ectopic pregnancy, acute diverticulitis, bowel obstruction, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. We hope to encourage primary care physicians to incorporate POCUS in their routine clinical practice. We also highlight challenges encountered when using POCUS in the primary health care including limited availability and the need for proper training. Furthermore, we review the POCUS results when performed by primary health-care physicians. Integrating POCUS in primary health care empowers primary health-care physicians to provide high-quality, safe, and cost-effective care to the patients.


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