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Echocardiography in the emergency room 

Echocardiography in the emergency room
Chapter:
Echocardiography in the emergency room
Author(s):

Aleksandar N. Nešković

and Andreas Hagendorff

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199599639.003.0026
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date: 22 August 2019

Echocardiography can provide rapid and accurate assessment of cardiac morphology and haemodynamics under stressful conditions in the emergency room (ER). Using this information, critical decisions regarding management of cardiovascular emergencies and the critically ill are made. To avoid potentially catastrophic errors with medicolegal consequences, adequate education and experience in echocardiography and cardiology are required and teamwork is encouraged. In addition, emergency cases must be well documented and this documentation stored and retrievable. Transthoracic echocardiography is the main source of the information in the emergency setting, while transoesophageal, contrast, and stress echocardiography are used when needed and in special circumstances.

In this chapter, the principles, practice, and specific considerations related to echocardiography in the ER are discussed and a brief overview of echocardiographic assessment in cardiac emergencies is provided. Detailed information regarding echocardiographic features of particular cardiovascular diseases and conditions that may be presented to the emergency physician in the ER can be found elsewhere in this book in the related chapters.

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