Ultrasound Assessment of Gastric Content
Point-of-care ultrasound can determine the nature and volume of gastric contents when NPO (nihil per os) status is unknown or uncertain in the immediate pre-operative or pre-anesthetic period.
As such, it may be useful to anesthesiologists, emergency physicians or intensivists who are initiating sedation, anesthesia or airway management.
The evaluation of gastric content shares the following characteristics with other point-of-care ultrasound uses:
– It is performed at the patient’s bedside, by the clinicians treating the patient
– It intends to answer a well-defined diagnostic question intended to guide clinical care
– The exam is focused and goal-directed, therefore limited in scope and target structures
– The findings are easily recognizable
– The exam is easily learned and quickly performed
You will learn how to:
– Differentiate qualitatively between empty stomach vs. clear fluid vs. solid
– Interpret findings depending on patient position
– Assess the risk of aspiration based qualitative findings and quantitative estimations
Authored by Dr. Anahi Perlas, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Toronto.