Our first year med students are heading into the u/s-guided anatomy lab once again – this time to learn Head and Neck anatomy (Jugulars, Carotids, Thyroids and all!). And while the anatomy makes up the driving objectives for the sessions, its always nice to consider the clinical applications down the road – u/s-guided CVL placement in the internal jugular vein being perhaps the most obvious. For those pursuing careers as endocrinologists, the thyroid certainly is readily assessed with ultrasound right there in the clinical environment. But the new kid on the block is ultrasound for confirmation of endotracheal intubation. The folks at the American Heart Association made the update last year, and though there are certainly several ways to confirm ETT placement, it may just be that ultrasound could be one of the very fastest way to spot trouble before its too late – by identifying esophageal intubation sooner than any other modality short of a video. Have a look below with an image from CanadiaEM‘s site, as well as from EMdocs.net.
Combining anatomy learning with the practicality of ultrasound in mind certainly makes learning that much more relevant, doesn’t it?