No reader of this NEWSLETTER likely needs much convincing about the clinical utility of ultrasound competency for us, as anesthesiologists and perioperative physicians. The growing list of indications and uses of clinical ultrasound in the perioperative and critical care arenas makes this a skill that is no longer discretionary for anesthesiologists. Live ultrasound guidance is becoming ever more prevalent for the placement of regional nerve blocks, supplanting nerve stimulation techniques at many centers. Ultrasound is also gaining in importance for placement of neuraxial blocks, especially in challenging patients. Some time ago, anesthesiologists began using this technology to visualize the vascular anatomy prior to central venous cannulation, and now an ever-increasing number of practitioners are placing internal jugular and subclavian catheters with live ultrasound guidance. The latter practice is now recommended in guidelines endorsed by the American Society of Echocardiography and the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists.

A more specialized use...

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