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Welcome! This is the website for the Mount Sinai Emergency Ultrasound Division. It serves as an information resource for residents, fellows, medical students and others seeking information about point-of-care ultrasound. There is a lot of information here, so please explore the site and send us feedback. To make things easier for new users we’ve condensed some of the highlights here:

ACEP Resolution 27

Resolution 27    

Reimbursement for Ultrasound Performed by Emergency Physicians (as amended)

RESOLVED, That ACEP develop a statement declaring that insurance companies and other payers reimburse emergency physicians for ultrasound studies and services that they perform and interpret as separate and identifiable procedures while providing patient care services in the Emergency Department; and be it further

RESOLVED, That ACEP support efforts to reduce payment denials for appropriately performed and documented clinical ultrasonography.

2015 Peds Ultrasound CME course

Over forty participants joined Sinai faculty Jim Tsung, Ee Tay, Bret Nelson, Joshua Guttman, Jacob Goertz, Turan Saul, Jenny Sanders, Kimberly Kahne, Michelle Vazquez, Joe Sorravit, and Rupi Mudan. Course Directors Ee Tay and Joshua Guttman organized great didactic content and lost of hands-on training (HOT) with pediatric models.

Participants from many pediatric and acute care specialties attended. They left with greater scanning skills, reduced reliance on CT scans, a multi-tool, and one lucky winner received Kaushal Shah’s new junior medical detective book, My Tummy Hurts

Our next hands-on ultrasound course will be in Ponte Vedra, Florida on June 17 at the Clinical Decision Making conference.

Brachial veins

When assessing patients with difficult peripheral venous access it is often helpful to look in the medial upper arm. Here, the brachial artery (A) and veins (V) are predictably located between the biceps and brachialis muscles. The median nerve (N) resides there as well.

NAV-labelsHere’s a plate from Grey’s Anatomy for some perspective:


So how can you tell which is which? Apply pressure slowly and watch for movement.

  1. The veins will collapse
  2. The artery will pulsate
  3. The nerve will do nothing

Brachial vv art median nerve

LUQ oblique probe orientation

Improving left upper quadrant view

Many clinicians are challenged when evaluating patients for perisplenic fluid as part of the FAST or RUSH examination. Here are some common problems and how to fix them.

Fix probe location

  • Make sure you are holding the probe in a longitudinal view, probe marker towards the patient’s head. Place the probe just above the costal margin, in the posterior axillary line. The knuckles of your probe hand should be touching the stretcher

Left renal ultrasound probe position

Start too high (too cephalad)

  • Starting with the very posterior probe position described above, slide towards the patient’s head until you clearly see pleura and rib shadows. Once you’ve established clear evidence you are over the thorax, slide the probe toward the patient’s feet along the same posterior axillary line until the pleura ends. Now you have found the diaphragm! Scan just caudal to the end of the pleura and you should see the diaphragm and spleen.
  • Another way to simplify this- If you see pleura, slide towards the feet. If you see bowel gas (or “nothing”), slide towards the head.

Use a slightly oblique approach

When rib shadows obscure the view, use the “sonographic rib spreader” technique.

Rib shadows obscure view of spleen

Rotate the probe slightly towards the patient’s back so the probe is slightly more parallel to the ribs. Do not go fully transverse.
LUQ oblique probe orientation

This exposes more of the probe to the interspace, yielding a larger window through which to view the spleen.
Spleen in the left upper quadrant window

For more tips on viewing the spleen, check out this post.