The Société de Réanimation de Langue Française (SRLF) and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) have a combined international membership of > 18,000. Both organizations have a strong interest in critical care ultrasonography (CCUS) and have collaborated to define the competencies in this field. Although this document is directed primarily toward intensivists, ultrasonography of the pleura and lung are also relevant to pulmonary medicine.
The purpose of this document is not to summarize the knowledge base of ultrasonography as it applies to critical care and pulmonary medicine, nor to evaluate the evidence supporting its use. Rather, the purpose is to describe the components of competence so that clinicians may have specific goals of training while they develop their skills. Competence is distinguished from certification , which is defined as the process by which competence is recognized by an external agency.
The working group for this statement was identified by the leadership of SRLF and ACCP, and consists of expert critical care and pulmonary specialists who use and teach ultrasonography in their daily practice. This document is based on the consensus opinion of these experts and is not an evidence-based guideline. The competence that we define is that which the intensivist should reasonably achieve for routine ICU operations and represents a minimum standard for a clinician who practices ultrasonography. It should not discourage the development of additional skills.
CCUS may be divided into general critical care ultrasonography (GCCUS) [thoracic, abdominal, and vascular], and echocardiography (basic and advanced). The only references cited are related to advanced critical care echocardiography (CCE) because a complete bibliography is outside the scope of this article .