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Eyes in skies: ocular ultrasound performed by a low-experience operator at high altitude
  1. Ciaran Simpkins1,
  2. D S Morris2 and
  3. E M Normando3,4
  1. 1College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Cardiff Eye Unit, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4Imperial College Ophthalmology Research Group (ICORG), Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Ciaran Simpkins, University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Birmingham B4 6BN, UK; csimpkins{at}

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Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has a many uses in military healthcare including a non-invasive technique to monitor intracranial pressure through the measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD).1 A previous study of combat medics with limited ultrasound experience demonstrated they could perform accurate ONSD measurements after a 25 min training session in the classroom environment.2 We report on a field study which tests the concept of an operator with minimal training using POCUS to image the optic nerve sheath (ONS) in a remote environment.

We conducted a longitudinal cohort study involving 10 participants during a winter ascent of Mt Toubkal (4167 m) (altitude profile shown in table 1). Prior to the expedition, the operator received limited training with the device: …

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  • Twitter @CiaranSimpkins

  • Contributors CS performed the data collection, conducted the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. DSM and EMN conceptualised the study and provided support with logistics and manuscript drafting.

  • Funding This study was funded by National Heart and Lung Institute.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.