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Point-of-Care Ultrasonography (POCUS) can be performed at the bedside of patients in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). If performed in a timely fashion, POCUS has the potential for enhancing quality of care and improving outcomes. The clinical report, “Use of Point-of-Care Ultrasonography in the NICU for Diagnostic and Procedural Purposes,” along with an accompanying technical report, are published in the December 2022 Pediatrics (published online Nov. 28). Although the performance and interpretation of ultrasonography have traditionally been limited to pediatric radiologists and pediatric cardiologists, POCUS refers to ultrasonography performed at the bedside by non-radiology and non-cardiology practitioners in the NICU for diagnostic, therapeutic, and procedural purposes. The reports, written by the Committee on Fetus and Newborn and the Section on Radiology, state that the technology is increasingly used worldwide. Yet, there are no published guidelines on implementation of point-of-care ultrasonography programs in U.S. neonatal intensive care units. The AAP suggests institutional guidelines for the use of point-of-care ultrasonography and other steps to help overcome barriers in use of the technology.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.