Objective: Disaster management is a complex and difficult undertaking that may involve limited health care resources and evaluation of multiple victims. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of real-time ultrasound video transmission from a simulated disaster triage location via commercially available video mobile phones and assess the ability of emergency physicians to accurately interpret the transmitted video of Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) ultrasound examinations.
Methods: This was a prospective, observational study that took place at a simulated disaster scene put on for an Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS) course. The second component occurred at a Level I academic urban emergency department (ED) with an annual census of 78,000. Nineteen subjects at a simulated disaster scene were scanned using a SonoSite Titan ultrasound system (Bothell, Washington USA). An off-the-shelf, basic, video-capable mobile phone was used to record each ultrasound examination; and then immediately transmit the videos to another mobile phone approximately 170 miles away. The transmitted video was received by three emergency physicians with hospital credentialing in emergency ultrasound. Each FAST examination video was assessed for pathology, such as free fluid. The reviewers graded the image quality and documented the overall confidence level regarding whether or not a complete and adequate examination was visualized. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used to examine the agreement between the reviewers and the sonologist who performed the ultrasound examinations.
Results: A total of 19 videos were transmitted. The median time for transmission of a video was 82.5 seconds (95% CI, 67.7 seconds-97.3 seconds). No video failed to transmit correctly on the first attempt. The image quality ratings for the three reviewers were 7.7, 7.5, and 7.4 on a 10-point Likert scale. There was a moderate agreement between the reviewers and sonologist in image quality rating and overall confidence level scores (rho = 0.6).
Conclusions: Real-time portable ultrasound video transmission via commercially available video mobile phones from a simulated disaster triage location is feasible and emergency physicians were able to accurately interpret video of FAST ultrasound examinations.
- emergency ultrasound
- mobile phone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine