Dr. Vibha K. Gupta is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician who practices in Oakland and Richmond, California. Emergency Medicine is the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions that require immediate attention. It’s a fast-paced environment where you never know what’s going to happen next. Significant diseases and conditions treated by Dr. Gupta include severe injuries, trauma, sepsis, burns, acute coronary syndrome, poisoning, heart attack, and stroke.
On a daily basis Emergency Physicians use ultrasound machines to obtain immediate information that aids in clinical decision making. Dr. Gupta uses ultrasound on every shift, it’s a necessity in a “code situation”, to pronounce someone dead or to determine if they have recovered spontaneous circulation after CPR. Physicians can visualize potentially reversible causes of cardiac arrest (e.g., pericardial tamponade) and when there is the absence of cardiac motion visualized on ultrasound, the decision to terminate resuscitative efforts may become easier for all the providers.
Other uses of the ultrasound machine are evident in Obstetrics where transvaginal ultrasounds are often used to confirm a pregnancy, to visualize free fluid in the pelvis, lack of doppler signal in an ovary (torsion) or to visualize an ectopic pregnancy.
The ultrasound machine is also extremely useful for her to use in patients with very painful conditions like gallstones and kidney stones. It can be used to diagnose these conditions and in the correct clinical context can spare the patient unnecessary radiation from CT scans. In patients with fractures she can use the ultrasound to aid in nerve blocks for reduction and general pain management.
In short, the ultrasound machine is “more useful than a stethoscope”. Dr Gupta’s machine of choice is the Zonare and for each different clinical situation she uses a different probe but her pet favorite is the linear phased array probe which she can use for difficult IV’s as well as nerve blocks.
Quite simply, using ultrasound machines demystifies diagnosis, and gives the ER Physician the facts required to make informed decisions on how best to treat a patient.