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Training for Pediatric Cardiac and Pulmonary Point of Care Ultrasound in Eastern Uganda

      Abstract

      Caring for children with acute illness is a challenge in limited-resource settings, especially when diagnostic imaging is limited or unavailable. We developed a training program in cardiac and lung point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for pediatric patients in eastern Uganda. Fourteen trainees including physicians, resident physicians and midlevels received training in cardiac and lung POCUS. Training included formal lectures, hands-on skills practice and individualized teaching sessions. Assessment included written knowledge assessment, direct observation and longitudinal image review. Blinded review of 237 consecutive ultrasound studies revealed satisfactory image quality (94.2% for lung and 93% for cardiac) and accurate image interpretation. Sensitivity and specificity of image interpretation were 0.93 (0.75–0.99) and 0.94 (0.78–0.99) for lung and 0.86 (0.71–0.95) and 0.94 (0.84–0.99) for cardiac compared with expert review. All trainees passed written knowledge assessments. After training, 100% of trainees reported that they would use POCUS in clinical activity and thought it would improve patient outcomes. Our training program indicated that trainees were able to perform high-quality cardiac and lung POCUS for pediatric patients with accurate interpretation. This builds a foundation for future studies addressing how POCUS can change outcomes for children in limited-resource settings.

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