Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education and Training for Regional Anesthesiologists and Pain Physicians
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a critical skill for all regional anesthesiologists and pain physicians to help diagnose relevant complications related to routine practice and guide perioperative management. In an effort to inform the regional anesthesia and pain community as well as address a need for structured education and training, ASRA commissioned this narrative review to provide recommendations for POCUS. The guidelines were written by content and educational experts and approved by the Guidelines Committee and the Board of Directors of the ASRA.
In part I of this two-part series, clinical indications for POCUS in the perioperative and chronic pain setting are described. The clinical review addresses airway ultrasound, lung ultrasound, gastric ultrasound, the focus assessment with sonography for trauma examination and focused cardiac ultrasound for the regional anesthesiologist and pain physician. It also provides foundational knowledge regarding ultrasound physics, discusses the impact of handheld devices and finally, offers insight into the role of POCUS in the pediatric population.
In part II of this two-part series, learning goals and objectives were identified and outlined for achieving competency in the use of POCUS, specifically, airway ultrasound, lung ultrasound, gastric ultrasound, the focus assessment with sonography for trauma exam, and focused cardiac ultrasound, in the perioperative and chronic pain setting. It also discusses barriers to POCUS education and training and proposes a list of educational resources. For each POCUS section, learning goals and specific skills were presented in the Indication, Acquisition, Interpretation, and Medical decision-making framework.
American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine expert panel recommendations on point-of-care ultrasound education and training for regional anesthesiologists and pain physicians—part I: clinical indications
American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine expert panel recommendations on point-of-care ultrasound education and training for regional anesthesiologists and pain physicians—part II: recommendations
These recommendations were published March 1, 2021, and will be reviewed again in 2026.