Will physiotherapists be routinely using lung ultrasound for critical care in the future?

A paper published in Physiotherapy Research International has looked at the physiotherapist’s respiratory assessment in critical care, and in particular, identifying parenchymal pulmonary pathology.

physiotherapists and lung ultrasound for critical careThe paper notes that the limited diagnostic of tools such as auscultation and chest X-ray might may not for allow the accurate differentiation between conditions such as lung collapse, consolidation and pleural effusion, and reasons that while a CT does allow for this differentiation, it requires patient transport and a high level of radiation.

The paper stated that the superior sensitivity and specificity of lung ultrasound would enable physiotherapists to make an accurate, timely and point of care diagnosis of lung pathology to determine whether the condition would require respiratory physiotherapy treatment or treatment from another practitioner. It was pointed out that physiotherapists would need to be trained in the effective use of lung ultrasound.

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