Elliot Backer, MD
Elliot Backer, MD
Pulmonology · Lebanon, NH

Bringing Point-of-Care Ultrasound to the Bedside

February 4th
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Description

We plan to bring point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) to the bedside of the critically ill. This mission will introduce hand-held ultrasound units to an academic medical center in Tanzania. We will teach evidence based, protocolized approaches to the evaluation and management of patients presenting with a wide array of cardiopulmonary diseases and shock states. This will be accomplished through both lecture and hands-on didactics through which clinicians will lean how to rapidly evaluate and manage these conditions at the bedside. Studies to be taught include lung ultrasound, echocardiography, focused assessment with sonography for trauma, vascular studies, and optic nerve evaluation for intracranial hypertension.

Population Served

This two week project will take place at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This academic referral center has several affiliated residency programs and serves a large, high-acuity patient population. This provides a unique and high impact setting in which to introduce POCUS. The skills learned here will help clinicians better understand their patient’s disease processes in a fast, inexpensive and bedside fashion. Areas of use will include the outpatient clinics, inpatient wards, and intensive care unit.

Expected Impact

Bedside ultrasound is an invaluable tool to help clinicians better understand and approach a wide variety of pathology. By teaching POCUS at an academic institution, clinicians will be able to diagnose and appropriately manage those presenting with respiratory failure and shock in a rapid, non-invasive manner. Our ultimate aim is to empower clinicians to learn and carry forward these easily taught skills beyond the academic setting.

Trip Photos & Recap

Over the course of my trip to Dar es Salaam, I worked closely with the Internal Medicine residents and Muhimbili National Hospital. Working to both provide a meaningful academic experience for them, and help take care of an incredibly sick patient population in their medical ICU. I can't thank Dox Foundation enough for the support they provided. The real success of this project was laying the groundwork for growth and expansion of a Pulmonary & Critical Care program in Tanzania.