Registrars training at the Alfred ICU are expected to learn some basic echocardiography skills during their tenure. To this end we run weekly teaching sessions (7:30 am Wednesday) which attract a good attendance for the mix of practical and didactic teaching.
The training sessions are structured such that by the end of a six month ICU attachment, trainees will be able to independently acquire a Level 1 transthoracic echo study.
The Alfred also has a designated Critical Care Ultrasound Fellow post which is usually filled by a post-FCICM Fellow/trainee. The Ultrasound Fellow is the first point of contact for all echocardiography studies in the unit, is well supported within the ICU by an echocardiography trained consultant and has dedicated weekly training sessions in Cardiology outpatients with cardiac sonographers. All previous Fellows have gone on to successfully complete the DDU.
We run a regular case review meeting for those intensivists engaged in echocardiography in order to peer review studies and share interesting cases. This is an opportunity to audit our large number of echocardiography studies.
Current echocardiography research projects in the department include ECMO weaning and limb circulation sufficiency on ECMO.
We currently have two echocardiography and three ultrasound platforms- three portable point of care ultrasound machines with full array of probes and two large fully equipped cardiac imaging platforms one of which is enabled for state of the art 3D echocardiography imaging. We are currently working on installing an echo reporting and archiving solution (Syngodynamics).