According to a small simulator study, ultrasound might work for detecting pneumothoraces in the back of a helicopter or an ambulance. That could spare our patients from some unnecessary thoracotomies.

We say it’s hard or impossible to reliably diagnose developing pneumothoraces in the noisy back of an helicopter or an ambulance and often end up doing the thoracostomy just in case.

That practice makes a lot of sense, but also results in many unnecessary thoracotomies.

The study looks specifically at lung sliding and the M-mode ‘seashore’ and ‘stratosphere’ signs and suggest it might work. The lines come out wavy because of the rotor rotations!


Study lives here.


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