The Echo Machine

Echocardiography for the Non-Cardiologist Introduction to Echocardiography
8 minutes
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Hey there, so you decided to go on. That's great. Before you know you'll be performing your first echocardiography tech examination. Let's get started, shall we? The first thing you need to familiarize yourself with is the echo machine. There are a lot of brands of ultrasound machines, there are the more general purpose ultrasound machines, which can optionally come with a choreography packages and probes installed.

And then there are dedicated echocardiography machines, which offer much better performance any machine will do for the purposes of this course. The machine I'll be using for this course is this Philips iE 33. It's a dedicated ECMO machine. The buttons and controls may not be exactly the same on your machine, but they should be similar enough to identify alternative lists the different possible names for everything as we move along the course. First of all, you'll see that the machines have wheels allowing movement and this pedal right here, most machines will have Have something similar to this, it's a double lock. So if I press once, I'm going to unlock swivel and the wheels can swivel freely in any direction.

If I if I hold it up like this, the wheels are going to walk in forward position and I can only push the machine back and forth. If I press it all the way down, I immobilize the machine completely, and if I try to move it now, it won't, but you usually want to immobilize a machine during an examination. Let's push it back now. This is obviously the monitor and it's usually mounted on an articulating arm such as this one, so you can push it down or up, tilted sideways and tilted down, tilt it up. This is usually a big plus when you're in an environment such as an ICU in which you're limited by beds and ventilators attached to the patient. So being able to maneuver the machine is a big plus.

This part right here contains the sockets for the probes or transducers. And we have three probes attached here are machines also likely to have more than one probes attached. If you want to see machine machine isn't as a general purpose ultrasound machine, then you're likely to have probes for ultrasound for no choreography for maybe transvaginal ultrasound. In order to attach or detach a probe, you have to first make sure this little lock is rotated. This allows you to pull the probe out and when you attach the probe, you just push it back But you just have to make sure you don't bend one of these little pins here. So if you're, if the probe won't go in, before just trying to push it harder, you have to make sure none of these pins are bent because that's kind of ruin your probe.

So I'm going to push the probe back in now and you have to lock it, or the pro won't work. This this is the control panel. This here is the control panel. And it has all these little buttons and knobs which you use to operate the machine. It also has this trackball, which is sort of like a mouse with right and left mouse buttons. We'll get back to these controls as we move through the course.

On most machines, the control panel is movable. There's there's a catch here, which I can use to move the control panel give you a better angle, down or up There's also another release here, which unlocks the unlock the control panel rotation, so I can rotate the control Control Panel left and right. And that also also makes it easier for you to maneuver the machine and find yourself a comfortable position when trying to image an ICU patient. Yes, an enormous team. You also have this double touchscreen. Most machines don't have this.

They just have all the controls as regular buttons and knobs. But again, as I said, we'll try to discuss the different varieties and different names for everything as we move along the course. Lastly, this is the on button right here. Let's turn on the machine. machine is powering up now. It's gonna take a couple of minutes.

So I'm just gonna pause here and skip ahead to when the machine starts. Okay, so on most machines, this will be your starting screen with an empty ultrasound image because the probe isn't on a patient. On some machines, the Start screen will be the patient data screen and you have to enter the patient data first before proceeding. Since it's good practice to always enter the patient data first. So we'll go ahead and do that. There will usually be a button marked new exam or new patient or patient data on the control panel on or on the screen.

So here we have a patient data button on the control panel. So we'll press that to get started. Most of the fields are pretty self explanatory, you have to enter the last name let's enter any random name and the first name. You should key in the age or the birth date to calculate the age and the gender and you should usually Have a study type. Here, we're going to set that to our echo. And this allows us to enter a lot of relevant data to a party ographers such as the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and some useful notes in history.

And important part here is entering the height and weight, you should always if possible, enter the height and weight because the machine can then use them to calculate some of the index index measures automatically. We're going to discuss these index measures later. So once we've got all the essential data entered, we're going to press close and start the examination and now we have our data entered at the top. The first thing to do is to select the probe. Chances are your machine will have several probes attached like we mentioned, either different echo Pros for dedicated machines or probes for completely different modalities like abdominal Or transplant ultrasound for general purpose ultrasound machines. To select a probe there will be a button marked with the word probe or transducer.

Here we have a button that says preset slash transducer. We'll press that and we have a list of the probes attached to the machine. The names are actually printed on the probes themselves, they won't be meaningful to you. So you should find out beforehand which one is the echo probe and use that a CT probes will look kind of like this one. But as we said, For dedicated echo machines, you can have several echo probes, so you'll just have to ask someone who's familiar with your machine about which probe to use. The next step is to select the preset or the template.

A preset is a set of settings on the machine that are applied to the image To make it easier to visualize certain structures on a on an ultrasound machine, general purpose ultrasound machine, you'll have presets for cardiovascular, abdominal, breast, thyroid, different templates to make visualizing these structures easier. So you're going to have to select a cardiovascular preset, if it's not the default. And on an echo machine, you'll have presets such as this Echo, stress contrast. Sometimes you can, you can make your own presets, but that's not for this course. We're going to go with this adult echo preset. And now we're ready to get our first view of the heart.

Before we jump right in. However, I'd like to give you a quick background on ultrasound, how it works and the different ultrasound nodes that we use. for that. I'll see you in the next lecture a primer on ultrasound.

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