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Ultrasound by emergency physicians to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms: a UK case series

Walker, A., Brenchley, J., Sloan, J.P., Lalanda, M. and Venables, H. (2004) Ultrasound by emergency physicians to detect abdominal aortic aneurysms: a UK case series. Emergency Medicine Journal, 21 (2). pp. 257-259. ISSN 1472-0213


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Early identification of abdominal aortic aneurysms in some patients can be difficult and the diagnosis is missed in up to 30% of patients. Ultrasound cannot be used to identify a leak, but the presence of an aneurysm in an unstable patient is conclusive. With minimal training emergency physicians can easily identify the aorta and thus in the early phase of resuscitation an aneurysm can be confidently excluded. The purpose of the examination is not to delineate the extent of the aneurysm, but to identify those patients that will need emergency surgery. A series of patients presented to the department in an unstable condition with equivocal abdominal signs. An ultrasound scan in the resuscitation room by members of the emergency department revealed an aneurysm, which was enough to convince the vascular surgeons to take the patient straight to theatre with good results. In patients who are stable, computed tomography will continue to be used to evaluate the extent of the aneurysm and identify a leak.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2004 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, British Association for Accident & Emergency Medicine, & Faculty of Accident & Emergency Medicine
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2005
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 15:13
Published Version: http://www.emjonline.com/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1136/emj.2002.002121
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/244

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