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Minerva Anestesiologica 2019 March;85(3):263-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.18.12657-5

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Utilization of echocardiography in Intensive Care Units: results of an online survey in Germany

Felix BALZER 1, Ralf F. TRAUZEDDEL 1, Martin ERTMER 1, Joachim ERB 2, Matthias HERINGLAKE 3, Heinrich V. GROESDONK 4, Matthias GOEPFERT 5, Daniel A. REUTER 6, Michael SANDER 7, Sascha TRESKATSCH 1

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Campus Charité Mitte and Campus Virchow-Klinikum Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 2 Department of Anesthesia, Surgical Intensive Care, Prehospital Emergency Medicine and Pain Therapy, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 3 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany; 4 Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, Saarland University Medical Center, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany; 5 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Klinikum Passau, Passau, Germany; 6 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Medical Center Rostock, Rostock, Germany; 7 Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University Hospital of Giessen, Gießen, Germany



BACKGROUND: In patients with hemodynamic instability echocardiography has been recommended as the preferred modality to evaluate the underlying pathophysiology. However, due to the fact that recent scientific data on the utilization of echocardiography in German Intensive Care Units (ICU) are scarce, we sought to investigate current practice.
METHODS: A structured, web-based, anonymized survey was performed from May until July 2015 among members of the German Interdisciplinary Association of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) consisting of 14 questions. Descriptive data analysis was performed.
RESULTS: One hundred four intensivists participated in the survey. Two-thirds of participants (66%) used echocardiography regularly for hemodynamic monitoring and stated that it changed the therapy in 26-50% of the cases irrespective of the time performed after ordering the examination. Transthoracic (TTE) were more frequently used than transesophageal (TEE) examinations. Twenty-six percent of the participants held an echocardiography certificate with a formal examination, 27% completed a structured training without an examination and almost half of the questioned ICU personnel (47%) did not complete a comprehensive training.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this survey demonstrate a widespread utilization of echocardiography as part of routine diagnostic on frequent number of operative ICUs. However, there might be a lack of structured echocardiographic training especially for anesthesiologists.


KEY WORDS: Echocardiography - Intensive Care Units - Hemodynamics - Education

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