SonoSite’s EDGE point-of-care ultrasound system is significantly improving services for patients undergoing pleural procedures at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
Dr Simon Webster, consultant respiratory and general physician at the hospital, said: “Many of the patients on our specialist respiratory ward suffer from a pleural effusion. Previously, the radiology department would identify the location of the effusion, mark an ‘X’ on the patient to indicate its position, and the fluid drainage would be performed back on the ward. This approach can be fraught with problems and, as a result, current best practice recommends the use of real-time ultrasound guidance.”
He added: “The EDGE is extremely portable and very user friendly, producing high-quality images on a large screen. It is also easy to clean, which is a crucial consideration for infection control.
“We no longer need to wait for the next ultrasound radiology list. The EDGE allows us to assess patients during our ward rounds – and have been able to streamline our procedures, allowing appropriate treatment to be initiated more swiftly and the length of inpatient stays to be reduced.
“Ultrasound guidance with the EDGE also allows the needle tip to be visualised when performing interventional procedures, establishing its position conclusively. This makes it so much safer to perform pleural procedures, improving the overall patient experience and safety appreciably.”