Clinical Ultrasound in Covid-19

Ultrasound can be used in the assessment of lung, but also for determining if the patient has a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

This section will provide resources to support your learning in these two areas. 

1. Lung ultrasound

1.1. Introduction

Lung ultrasound may be requested for covid-19 patients, although some research has suggested there is a lower sensitivity, but high specificity. The resources in this section are to help you get a better understanding of the technique and ultrasound appearances of the lung with ultrasound. Again, if you are using ultrasound to assess the lung within your clinical practice you must be competent to do this. 

There are a number of different techniques within the literature for assessing the whole of the thoracic cavity. Which ever method you select, it is important to scan the lung fields in a systematic way to cover all aspects. 

Normal lung moves with respiration, known as 'lung sliding'. It would be good practice to learn the appearances of normal healthy lung before starting to scan symptomatic and / or complex cases. 

Common findings in abnormal lung in a Covid-19 positive patient include:

  • B-lines
  • Subpleural consolidation
  • Consolidation with air bronchogram

Ultrasound examinations should only be carried out by a competent and trained health care professional, with appropriate audit to ensure safe, competent on-going practice.