Physiotherapists working in intensive care do more than just early rehabilitation (e.g., helping patients to stand and walk while they are still attached to a ventilator). They also regularly assess and treat respiratory complications like areas of lung tissue that are collapsed or consolidated.
Traditionally, these physiotherapists rely heavily on bedside respiratory assessment tools such as portable chest x-ray and listening to the lungs with a stethoscope to diagnose these lung problems. Unfortunately, these assessment tools have poor accuracy, which limits a physiotherapist’s ability to diagnose and treat these lung problems.
Diagnostic lung ultrasound for physiotherapists is a novel and evolving diagnostic tool for immediate assessment of lung problems at the bedside. It is non-invasive, repeatable, accurate and does not expose patients or staff to radiation.