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An Pediatr (Barc). 2017 Jun;86(6):344-349. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2016.06.009. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

[Point-of-care ultrasound in Spanish paediatric intensive care units].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Servicio de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, España; Instituto de investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, RETICS financiada por el PN I+D+I 2008-2011, ISCIII - Subdirección General de Evaluación y Fomento de la Investigación y el Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER), ref. RD12/0026; Red de Salud Materno Infantil y Desarrollo, Madrid, España. Electronic address:
Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Hospital Universitario Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Barcelona, España.
Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, España.



Point-of-care (bedside) ultrasound is being increasingly used by paediatricians who treat critically ill children. The aim of this study is to describe its availability, use, and specific training in Paediatric Intensive Care Units in Spain.


A descriptive, cross-sectional, multicentre study was performed using an online survey.


Of a total of 51 PICUs identified in our country, 64.7% responded to the survey. Just over half (53.1%) have their own ultrasound machine, 25% share it, with other units with the usual location in the PICU, and 21.9% share it, but it is usually located outside the PICU. Ultrasound machine availability was not related to size, care complexity, or number PICU admissions. The ultrasound was used daily in 35% of the units, and was associated with location of the machine in the PICU (P=.026), the existence of a transplant program (P=.009), availability of ECMO (P=.006), and number of admissions (P=.015). 45.5% of PICUs has less than 50% of the medical staff specifically trained in bedside ultrasound, and 18.2% have all their medical staff trained. The presence of more than 50% of medical staff trained was associated with a higher rate of daily use (P=.033), and with specific use to evaluate cardiac function (P=.033), intravascular volume estimation (P=.004), or the presence of intra-abdominal collections (P=.021).


Bedside ultrasound is frequently available in Spanish PICUs. Specific training is still variable, but it should serve to enhance its implementation.


Children; Cuidados intensivos; Ecografía; Educación; Intensive care; Niños; Training; Ultrasound

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