Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 266-273

Point-of-care diagnostic lung ultrasound is highly applicable to the practice of medicine in Saudi Arabia but the current skills gap limits its use


1 Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Ministry of National Guard - Health Affairs; College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Ministry of National Guard - Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajkumar Rajendram
Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Ministry of National Guard - Health Affairs, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/atm.ATM_358_20

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CONTEXT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has put a spotlight on point-of-care diagnostic lung ultrasound (POCDLUS). However, the spectra of respiratory disease and resources available for investigation vary internationally. The applicability of POCDLUS to internal medicine (IM) practice in Saudi Arabia and the current use by Saudi physicians are unknown. AIMS: The aim of the present study was to determine the applicability of POCDLUS to IM practice in Saudi Arabia and quantify the residents' current skills, accreditation, and use of POCDLUS. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to the IM residents at our institution to assess their knowledge, use of POCDLUS, and their perceptions of its applicability in IM. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Standard descriptive statistical techniques were used. Categorical data, presented as frequency, were compared using the Chi-squared test. The Likert scale responses, presented as mean ± standard deviation, were compared with a Student's t-test. RESULTS: In total, 100 residents participated (response rate 92.6%) and reported that POCDLUS was applicable to their practice. Identifying pleural effusions was most applicable. A small proportion (n = 7) had received training, nine used POCDLUS regularly, none were accredited and the overall self-reported level of knowledge was poor. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst POCDLUS is applicable to IM practice in Saudi Arabia, the significant skills gap preclude the provision of a POCDLUS service. As COVID-19 can cause an interstitial syndrome, our pandemic preparation response should include POCDLUS training. The current study is supported by a similar Canadian study and the international standardisation of POCDLUS training may be feasible. The findings of the current study may facilitate the development of POCDLUS training programs for internists throughout Saudi Arabia.


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