iTeachU™, from the University of Melbourne, is offering a new free course in lung ultrasound. The course is a bespoke program with highlights of specific lung ultrasound findings in COVID-19, and also the inclusion of the pre-existing online and simulator-based lung ultrasound course which would provide additional background learning for those that have not previously used lung ultrasound.
This timely education material is predicated on the notion that lung ultrasound is very sensitive to inflammation of the lung that results in oedema in the early stages of pneumonia. Hence early pneumonia may appear similarly to localised pulmonary oedema pattern (interstitial lung pattern). The early detection if COVID-19 lung involvement would seem to be the most logical approach to allowing novel therapies or early-intervention strategies time to work; before mechanical ventilatory support is required.
While a protocol is not specified; it is suggested, that patients with known or suspected COVID-19 that have ANY evidence of lung involvement on ultrasound may have an early stage of pneumonia. Potentially, this group may benefit the most from early-intervention strategies.
Additionally, there is emerging evidence that may deaths arise from a cardiac cause, either cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia. Hence, focused cardiac ultrasound may be considered, in addition to the use of lung ultrasound.
This course also describes a fundamental principle of being able to use existing sterile plastic sheaths (customarily used for ultrasound-guided vascular access procedures) as physical barriers to contamination of small hand-held ultrasound machines.