Echocardiography Saves Lives in Emergency Rooms

2012-01-18
 

Echocardiography in the ERThe opening sentence of Wikipedia’sEchocardiography” entry is “Not to be confused with electrocardiography.”

That’s for sure.

Echocardiography is a cardiac ultrasound that produces 2D or, increasingly, 3D real-time images of a heart. Moreover, an echocardiogram can analyze valve function, blood flow in and out of the heart, “communications” between the left and right sides of the heart, and other cardiac functions.

Electrocardiography, on the other hand, measures the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time.

Both procedures are important in modern-day cardiac care, but echocardiography is increasingly being used in emergency rooms to quickly assess patients experiencing some form of cardiac distress.

Why? For one, echocardiography is easy to perform. Within minutes of admission, a patient can get a highly informative echocardiogram from a cardiac sonographer and start receiving needed treatment (or even surgery) right after that. Electrocardiography, on the other hand, involves a fair amount of set-up time, and the results have to be interpreted without the help of an actual picture of the heart in question.

Also, echocardiography can be used to garner many different types of information. Helpful visual tutorials from the 123sonography.com team (available here) show how easy it is to get an apical 4-chamber view, a subcostal window, and a parasternal window (as well as proving that video education should be a staple in medical education).

Horizon Cardiology’s Echo and Vascular ultrasound streamlines echocardiography technician and physician throughput while facilitating improvement in patient care.

By eliminating VHS tapes and paper, the system – which is part of McKesson’s comprehensive CVIS – enables echocardiography technicians and doctors to easily access patient information (including other medical images), and it makes reporting results as simple as a click of a mouse.

 

To receive the latest echocardiography and other medical imaging news, subscribe to the Medical Imaging Talk blog via RSS feed or email. Or follow us on Twitter.

Leave a Reply