SubSpecialties  |   December 2015
SCA Perspectives: Perioperative Ultrasound Training Breaking the Barriers
Author Affiliations
  • Linda Shore-Lesserson, M.D., FAHA, FASE
    Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists
  • Scott T. Reeves, M.D., M.B.A., FACC, FASE
    Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists
    Immediate Past President
Article Information
Radiological and Other Imaging / SubSpecialties
SubSpecialties   |   December 2015
SCA Perspectives: Perioperative Ultrasound Training Breaking the Barriers
ASA Monitor 12 2015, Vol.79, 58-59.
ASA Monitor 12 2015, Vol.79, 58-59.
Innovation and ingenuity are known to outpace legislation and regulation. Nothing highlights this principle more than the introduction of ultrasound (US) in the practice of clinical anesthesiology. This started in the early 1990s with the use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in cardiac O.R.s. It later expanded to use of transthoracic echo (TTE) in critical care settings to US guidance for invasive procedures (vascular access, regional anesthesia). This widespread use of ultrasound has come to be known as perioperative ultrasonography, which is the use of US for patient management during the perioperative period. Current applications of perioperative US that are specific to anesthesiologists include: TTE, TEE, US for procedural guidance (vascular access, regional anesthesia) and emergency point-of-care US (abdominal, chest wall and airway imaging). Of all these applications, only the training and certification requirements for perioperative TEE are well established.1  Even critical care and regional anesthesia fellowship programs only require a broad knowledge, equipment requirements and do not put forward specific recommendations to establish competence. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) have also recognized knowledge of ultrasound as a necessary skill set during anesthesia residency training. Despite being widely practiced and taught during training, expertise in various aspects of perioperative US is neither ubiquitous nor consistent in anesthesia training.
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