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P-142 Evaluation of a new portable ultrasound facility at countess mountbatten house hospice
  1. Anna Hume
  1. Countess Mountbatten House, Southampton, UK


Background It has been standard practice for all patients to have US prior to paracentesis. This involved:

  • Ambulance transfer to/from Acute Hospital in Southampton [SGH]

  • Nurse escort

  • Admin time

  • Cost average=£600 per patient

  • Increased length of stay by 4–7 days, awaiting scan at SGH

  • Poor patient experience.

50% of our patients died within 10 days of paracentesis, indicating their general frailty and the importance of short admission.

Intervention A portable ultrasound machine was purchased by Countess Mountbatten House Hospice at £5780. Suitable training was undertaken by the author at £450.

Results 50 scans were performed over one year:

2 at home: both no ascites [died at home within seven days]

17 in OPA: 8 admitted for paracentesis

9 no ascites [ 1 U.retention – catheter inserted ]

31 in IPU: 17 ascitic drains placed

9 no ascites

5 catheters inserted for U.retention


  • 11 admissions avoided

  • 31 transfers avoided [31x £600]=£18600

  • 124 bed days saved [31x4 minimum wait for scan at £294 per day]=£ 36456

OutcomesPatient experience improved:

  • Unnecessary admission avoided

  • Transfer avoided

  • Faster relief of symptoms

  • Reduced length of stay.

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