Saturday, June 30, 2007


The 18th Annual Scientific meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography had just ended in Seattle. At that meeting, Siemens demonstrated a very neat handheld cardiac ultrasound machine, that weighed less than 1 kilogram. This had a significance for me, as I remembered that when I was training in Glasgow (1978), I had the opportunity to try a prototype handheld cardiac ultrasound made by Smith Kline and French (now defunct). We used it carrying around, to CCU to check post MI patients for LV function, look for mitral stenosis, and pericardial effusion. It weighed about 2 kilos, I think, but we liked it. You must remember that this was 1978, even cardiac ultrasound was in her infancy. 30 years later, we see a neater machine, that can be put in our labcoat pocket. I have not seen it for real, but from the picture, it looks "cool". I am certain that for those of us who see acute cardiac patients, this instrument should prove very useful, for the diagnosis of LV function, pericardiac effusion, valvular heart disease and traumatic injuries to the heart. Recently, we have seen push around portable echo machines, and heavy hand pull trolley echos, nothing as neat and cool as what is shown in the picture. I sure hope that I could get my hands on one of them. It should prove very useful.

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