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Italian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2022 August;11(2):57-71

DOI: 10.23736/S2532-1285.22.00151-3

Copyright © 2022 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license which allows users to copy and distribute the manuscript, as long as this is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the manuscript if it is changed or edited in any way, and as long as the user gives appropriate credits to the original author(s) and the source (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI) and provides a link to the license.

language: English

POCUS shock management: point-of-care ultrasound in the integrated management of shock


Emergency Department, ASL Torino 3, Turin, Italy

Shock is a critical syndrome with high mortality, with multiple causes and with diversified pathophysiology. The possibility of influencing the prognosis directly depends on the timeliness and correctness of the diagnosis, in its three components: status diagnosis, etiological diagnosis and physio-pathological diagnosis; it is also necessary to continuously monitor, especially in the early hours, the response to therapeutic interventions, to confirm, to integrate or to stop the treatments started, in particular fluids and cardio-vasoactive agents. The state diagnosis is based on the vital parameters and the dosage of lactates; the etiology is defined thanks to clinical evaluation (history and physical examination) and diagnostic imaging; cardiovascular physopathology can be demonstrated with instrumental tests that can evaluate the functional dynamic components. For monitoring and guidance of therapy it is essential to integrate the detection of clinical and biohumoral data with the continuous or repeated evaluation of haemodynamic variables. Multiple district point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has acquired a central role in shock management, for etiological and physiopathological diagnosis, for support of invasive procedures, and for monitoring and therapy guidance. POCUS allows to evaluate all the relevant aspects of cardiovascular pathophysiology: volume status and preload, biventricular systolic function, stroke volume, left ventricular diastolic function, pulmonary extravascular fluid, peripheral venous system filling status. POCUS has some decisive advantages over other methods: timeliness, accuracy, repeatability, non-invasiveness, safety for patients, low costs. The integration of multiple district POCUS with clinical (capillary refill time) and biohumoral (lactate) evaluation, which verifies the effects of therapy on perfusion and organ function, allows a simplified and accurate management of patients in shock, with positive impact on health outcomes.

KEY WORDS: Shock; Ultrasonography, Point-of-care systems; Emergency service, hospital

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