Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-78  Continued, successful use of ultrasound in a hospice
  1. Bernadette Lee
  1. Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, UK


Background Since 2008, several doctors have attended the in-house Focused Abdominal UltraSound in Palliative Care (FASP) course each year. It teaches examination protocols for ascites, liver, urinary tract and groin deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The hospice has a SonoSite NanoMaxx portable ultrasound machine. An audit was done to see if ultrasound is used and whether scans adhered to course standards.

Audit standards Standards are set according to the FASP course:

  1. Frequency of use of ultrasound

  2. Ultrasound protocols were followed – clear indication for limited ultrasound examination

  3. Impact of having ultrasound

  4. Documentation for cleaning of transducer.

Results 1. Frequency of use

Over eight years, 189 scans were done. The average was 24 (range 17 to 40) scans per year. Six current medical team members use ultrasound. The majority of the scans were done on the ward, some in outpatients or at home, making good use of the portable machine.

2. Indications

In 100% scans, appropriate limited ultrasound protocols were followed. There may be more than one indication for a scan. They were for ascites (142/189, 75%), including identifying site for paracentesis (23, 12%), bladder (33, 17%); very few for kidney (2, 1%) and DVT (1, 0.5%), none for liver. The reasons were possibly due to lack of need or staff were less confident in doing these.

3. Impact

There was documentation for each scan that it helped clinical decisions. These included paracentesis, referring to hospital for PleurX drains and insertion of urine catheter.

4. Cleaning

From 2008 to 2013, documentation of cleaning of the transducers ranged from 75 to 98%. It improved to 100% in 2014 and 2015.

Conclusion Overall, ultrasound is used well and appropriately in the hospice. We plan to do biannual audit. We will provide training for staff who wish to attend refresher modules on liver and groin DVT in the annual course.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work noncommercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.