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Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 54

Editorial “Minute Zero: an essential assessment in peri-operative ultrasound for anaesthesia”

Jolanta Cylwik

Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Unit, Mazovia Regional Hospital in Siedlce, Poland
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2022; 54, 1: 1–2
Online publish date: 2022/02/16
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JabRef, Mendeley
Papers, Reference Manager, RefWorks, Zotero
I have attentively read the article “Minute Zero: an essential assessment in peri-operative ultrasound for anaesthesia” by Elena Segura-Grau et al. [1]. The authors have suggested using point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) as part of a comprehensive anaesthetic assessment in the perioperative period. Such an extension of the standard perioperative examination aimed at searching for pathologies that may affect the intra- and postoperative course performed by an anaes­thesiologist seems fully justified and may have a significant impact on treatment outcomes [2]. In the “Minute Zero” model, the authors have suggested that POCUS assessment of anaesthetised patients should be carried out twice – on admission to the operating theatre and before transfer to the postoperative ward. The described scheme is based on the well-known eFAST, FATE and BLUE protocols (assessment to determine the presence of free fluid in the body cavities, basic cardiac assessment, including IVC, and lung ultrasound assessment). The examination conducted in the manner specified by the authors provides a general but holistic picture of the patient, focused at detecting life-threatening pathologies. It is right to include a preoperative assessment of the filling of the stomach in the protocol, as the surface area of the pylorus found on ultrasound scans indicates the risk of aspiration during the induction of general anaesthesia [3, 4]. This may be of particular importance in patients undergoing emergency procedures, with gastrointestinal obstruction or in those with difficult contact (mainly children and the elderly). In the algorithm described, the assessment of bladder filling in the postoperative period has been emphasised. This is a huge asset, which is often overlooked and, as the authors rightly point out, can cause postoperative delirium, especially in the elderly. The authors have developed an examination card that enables to document the examination in a simple and transparent manner based on markings of the appropriate blanks, which makes the protocol very friendly. The additional pros of the publication are the attached sample ultrasound images, which perfectly illustrate the ease of diagnosis of basic pathologies.
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