Can J Anaesth. 2021 Mar;68(3):376-386. doi: 10.1007/s12630-020-01867-2. Epub 2020 Nov 24.
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) uses ultrasound at the bedside to aid decision-making in acute clinical scenarios. The increased use of ultrasound for regional anesthesia and vascular cannulation, together with more anesthesiologists trained in transesophageal echocardiography have contributed to the widespread use of POCUS in perioperative care. Despite the support of international experts, the practice of POCUS in perioperative care is variable as Canadian guidelines for anesthesiologists do not currently exist. Using a Delphi process of online surveys and a face-to-face national Canadian meeting, we developed a consensus statement for basic POCUS (bPOCUS) performance and training with a group of national experts from all Canadian universities. The group of experts consisted of 55 anesthesiologists from 12 Canadian universities considered local leaders in the field. An initial exploratory online survey of 47 statements was conducted. These statements were derived from previous generic guidelines or consensus conferences, or were based on current literature. Fourteen statements reached full consensus, 19 had 90-100% agreement, and 14 had less than 90% agreement. Eight new statements were proposed during the national meeting, and all statements without full agreement were discussed. A second online survey included 42 modified or new statements. From this second survey, 16 statements obtained full consensus, 39 had very good agreement, and one had good agreement. The final document includes 56 statements that define the scope of practice and necessary training for perioperative bPOCUS. The statements include five bPOCUS domains: cardiac, lung, airway, gastric, and abdomen. The use of bPOCUS is evolving and will play a significant role in perioperative medicine. This consensus statement aims to define a Canadian national standard on which curricula may be based. It also provides a framework to allow further development of bPOCUS in the perioperative setting.