Aims/Objectives/Background Rapid risk stratification of patients is vital for Emergency Department (ED) streaming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally, patients should be split into red (suspected/confirmed COVID-19) and green (non COVID-19) zones in order to minimise the risk of patient-to-patient and patient-to-staff transmission. A robust yet rapid streaming system combining clinician impression with point-of-care diagnostics is therefore necessary.
Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) findings in COVID-19 have been shown to correlate well with computed tomography (CT) findings, and it therefore has value as a front-door diagnostic tool. At University Hospital Lewisham (a district general hospital in south London), we recognised the value of early POCUS and its potential for use in patient streaming.
Methods/Design We developed a training programme, ‘POCUS for COVID’ and subsequently integrated POCUS into streaming of our ED patients. The training involved Zoom lectures, a face to face practical, a 10 scan sign off process followed by a final triggered assessment. Patient outcomes were reviewed in conjunction with their scan reports.
Results/Conclusions Currently, we have 21 ED junior doctors performing ultrasound scans independently, and all patients presenting to our department are scanned either in triage or in the ambulance. A combination of clinical judgement and scan findings are used to stream the patient to an appropriate area.
Service evaluation with analysis of audit data has found our streaming to be 94% sensitive and 79% specific as an indicator of COVID 19. Further analysis is ongoing.
Here we present both the structure of our training programme and our integrated streaming pathway along with preliminary analysis results.
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