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Point-of-care (POC) ultrasound is the use of compact and portable ultrasonography at a patient’s bedside for a time-sensitive diagnostic or therapeutic purpose. Interpretation of the ultrasound images and immediate clinical decisions can be made by the clinicians conducting the examination, thereby enabling rapid assessment and intervention. To be used for POC examination, the technique should be easily learned and quickly performed, and be used for a well-defined purpose with easily recognizable findings.
POC ultrasound is commonly used in cardiology, obstetrics, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, intensive and critical care, pain management, and vascular surgery settings. Examples of POC ultrasound applications include: