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Lung pulse

February 17, 2014 2 Comments

Anton Helman (@EM_Cases) from EM Cases sent a tweet asking about the lung pulse and if we use and recommend it. We do. It’s mentioned at the end of the Thoracic chapter by Ben Ho. Jordan Chenkin (@POCUS_Toronto) presented Airway EDE at EDE 3 last month and spoke of the lung pulse. We will include it in the Airway chapter in a future version of the book. Of course, it was Daniel Lichtenstein who first described the lung pulse and coined the term.

The lung pulse is seen when the lung or part of the lung is not ventilated. This is commonly seen in a right mainstem intubation and atelectasis. Subtle pleural sliding is seen on the left. But the sliding is not created by ventilation. It is created by the beating heart! See the video from Joel Turner (@JTMcGillEM) for an example. This video will be included in the EDE iBook, due to be released later this year.


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Comments (2)

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  1. nhi says:

    Where is the ultrasound transducer located on the video? Thank you!

  2. In general, to see the lung pulse, the probe (or transducer) could be anywhere on the left anterior hemithorax. In this video, the probe is in the longitudinal plane with the indicator directed cephalad. It is just cephalad to the heart and within a few centimetres of the sternum. You can tell that it is near the heart because, on the right side of the screen, the pleura is diving down and to screen right. That is what the pleura tends to do as it approaches the cardiac lung point.

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