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Use of Transoesophageal Echocardiography during the Peri-operative Period for Trauma Patients
  1. K Smyth, Specialist Registrar in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine1,
  2. Dr R Hebballi, Consultant in Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia2 and
  3. MK Peterson, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine3
  1. 1Royal Air Force, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester
  2. 2University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QP 0300 303 1573 hebballiravi{at}
  3. 3Royal Air Force, Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust, MDHU, Portsmouth Road, Frimley


The medical facility at Camp Bastion continues to evolve as a consequence of the increased throughput of battlefield trauma patients. There is a requirement for rapid and accurate diagnosis of haemodynamic instability and continued haemodynamic monitoring throughout the peri-operative period. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) has been used for this purpose in the arena of cardiac anaesthesia since the mid 1980s. It is being introduced to other peri-operative settings where severe haemodynamic instability is expected. The old proverb: ‘There are none so blind as those who cannot see’ (Jeremiah 5:21) is applicable to this topic, in that TOE is proven to be a rapid, portable, safe and effective tool in the assessment of the haemodynamically unstable patient. This paper explores the application of TOE for the assessment of the major causes of haemodynamic instability in the trauma population.

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