Feasibility of training clinical officers in point-of-care ultrasound for pediatric respiratory diseases in Aweil, South Sudan

Adi Nadimpalli, James W. Tsung, Ramon Sanchez, Sachita Shah, Evgenia Zelikova, Lisa Umphrey, Northan Hurtado, Alan Gonzalez, Carrie Teicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are the leading cause of deaths in children < 5 years old worldwide, particularly affecting low-resource settings such asAweil,SouthSudan. In these settings, diagnosis can be difficult because of either lack of access to radiography or clinical algorithms that overtreat childrenwith antibioticswho only have viral LRTIs. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been applied to LRTIs, but not by nonphysician clinicians, and with limited data from low-resource settings.Our goalwas to examine the feasibility of training themid-level provider cadre clinical officers (COs) in a Médecins Sans Frontiéres project in South Sudan to perform a POCUS algorithm to differentiate among causes of LRTI. Six COs underwent POCUS training, and each subsequently performed 60 lung POCUS studies on hospitalized pediatric patients < 5 years old with criteria for pneumonia. Two blinded experts, with a tiebreaker expert adjudicating discordant results, served as a reference standard to calculate test performance characteristics, assessed image quality and CO interpretation. The COs performed 360 studies. Reviewers rated 99.1% of the images acceptable and 86.0% CO interpretations appropriate. The inter-rater agreement (κ) betweenCOs and experts for lung consolidationwith air bronchograms was 0.73 (0.63-0.82) and for viral LRTI/bronchiolitis was 0.81 (0.74-0.87). It is feasible to train COs in South Sudan to use a POCUS algorithm to diagnose pneumonia and other pulmonary diseases in children < 5 years old.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-695
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume101
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

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