Welcome to the University of Washington’s Division of Emergency Medicine Ultrasound website. Our faculty are committed to the three-fold mission of educating the next generation of clinicians in point-of-care ultrasound, improving our understanding and utilization of ultrasound through academic research, and having a positive impact on the quality of care for emergency department patients using sonography.
What is Emergency Ultrasound?
Emergency Ultrasound is clinician performed, bedside ultrasound used to answer specific clinical questions. While ultrasound use has been common for decades (such as underwater echo-ranging systems used in the early 1900s) point-of-care ultrasound use began in the 1980s in Germany and has spread to many medical specialties. Emergency ultrasound is a limited, goal-directed and focused ultrasound exam that answers brief and important clinical questions in an organ system, or may be used for a clinical symptom or sign involving multiple organ systems. This is contrasted with “formal” ultrasound which is performed in the radiology department and is intended as a full survey of the organ / system in question.
Emergency Ultrasound at the University of Washington
Our faculty lead several point-of-care ultrasound initiatives throughout the UW Medicine system. They utilize three SonoSite machines, as well as one Philips Sparq machine for patient care and education. Additionally, our faculty employ a robust quality assurance process to archive all examinations. Please refer to the links for more information on current educational and research opportunities.