Ultrasound Evaluation in Acute Respiratory Failure - the BLUE protocol
Unlike abdominal and obstetrical ultrasound, thoracic ultrasound had been little late in becoming a widely used tool. But in the past two decades thanks to Dr.Lichtenstein and co-workers, it has become an essential and indespensible tool in the emergency and critical care units. Its easy availability at the bed side, lack of radiations, feasibility for multiple examinations over a time period, low cost and high sensitivity and specificity has broadened its applications in the evaluation of critically ill patients.
The widely used ultrasound protocol to evaluate patients presenting with acute respiratory failure is called BLUE PROTOCOL. BLUE, an abbreviation for Bedside Lung Ultrasound in Emergency. Blue protocol can be used to diagnose the following causes of acute respiratory failure.
- Pulmonary edema
- Pulmonary embolism
- Pleural effusion