Removing Barriers to Emergency Medicine Point-of-Care Ultrasound: Illustrated by a Roadmap for Emergency Medicine Point-of-Care Ultrasound Expansion in India

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J Emerg Trauma Shock


Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) has a potentially vital role to play in emergency medicine (EM), whether it be in high-, medium-, or low-resourced settings. However, numerous barriers are present which impede EM PoCUS implementation nationally and globally: (i) lack of a national practice guideline or scope of practice for EM PoCUS, (ii) resistance from non-PoCUS users of ultrasound imaging (USI) and lack of awareness from those who undertake parallel or post-EM patient care, and (iii) heterogeneous pattern of resources available in different institutes and settings. When combined with the Indian Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, this has led to the majority of India's 1.4 billion citizens being unable to access EM PoCUS. In order to address these barriers (globally as well as with specific application to India), this article outlines the three core principles of EM PoCUS: (i) the remit of the EM PoCUS USI must be well defined a priori, (ii) the standard of EM PoCUS USI must be the same as that of non-PoCUS users of USI, and (iii) the imaging performed should align with subsequent clinical decision-making and resource availability. These principles are contextualized using an integrated PoCUS framework approach which is designed to provide a robust foundation for consolidation and expansion across different PoCUS specialisms and health-care settings. Thus, a range of mechanisms (from optimization of clinical practice through to PoCUS educational reform) are presented to address such barriers. For India, these are combined with specific mechanisms to address the PCPNDT Act, to provide the basis for influencing national legislation and instigating an addendum to the Act. By mapping to the recent Lancet Commission publication on transforming access to diagnostics, this provides a global and cross-discipline perspective for the recommendations.

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