International expert statement on training standards for critical care ultrasonography


Training in ultrasound techniques for intensive care medicine physicians should aim at achieving competencies in three main areas: (1) general critical care ultrasound (GCCUS), (2) “basic” critical care echocardiography (CCE), and (3) advanced CCE. A group of 29 experts representing the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and 11 other critical care societies worldwide worked on a potential framework for organizing training adapted to each area of competence. This framework is mainly aimed at defining minimal requirements but is by no means rigid or restrictive: each training organization can be adapted according to resources available. There was 100% agreement among the participants that general critical care ultrasound and “basic” critical care echocardiography should be mandatory in the curriculum of intensive care unit (ICU) physicians. It is the role of each critical care society to support the implementation of training in GCCUS and basic CCE in its own country.

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The participants and the organizing committee are indebted to Mrs. Cindy Martinez and to Pr. Jean-Daniel Chiche for their invaluable help with practical organization of this round table.

Conflict of interest

B. Cholley has worked as a consultant or lecturer for Philips Healthcare (fees being paid to his department) but has no conflict of interest related to the topic of this conference. A. Vieillard Baron has received honoraria as a lecturer at ultrasound symposia, and funding from various industrial partners to develop a website in critical care ultrasound. P. Vignon has worked as a consultant or lecturer for Philips Healthcare but has no conflict of interest related to the topic of this conference. Y. Beaulieu declares to work part-time as director of ultrasound education for a company called CAE Healthcare, providing training solutions on bedside ultrasound including e-learning curriculum and an ultrasound simulator. He receives a salary for that role from CAE Healthcare. R.C. McDermid has received honoraria from ICCU Imaging, a company involved in ultrasound training. S. Alhamid, M. Balik, R. Breitkreutz, J.-L. Canivet, P. Doelken, H. Flaatten, H. Frankel, M. Haney, A. Hilton, E. Maury, P.H. Mayo, A.S. McLean, C. Mendes, M.R Pinsky, J. Poelaert, S. Price, D. Schmidlin, M. Slama, D. Talmor, J. M. Teles, G. Via, G.Voga, P. Wouters, and T. Yamamoto have no financial conflicts of interest to declare.

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Additional information

Round table participants and affiliations are given in Appendix



Organizing Society:

European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM)

Participating Societies:

American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP); American Thoracic Society (ATS); Asia Pacific Association of Critical Care Medicine (APACCM); Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS); Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine (AMIB); Canadian Critical Care Society (CCCS); European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA); European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM); Japanese Society of Intensive Care Medicine (JSICM); Pan Arab Federation of Societies of Anaesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine (PAFSA); Société de Réanimation de Langue Française (SRLF); Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Round table participants and affiliations

Round table organization:

B.P. Cholley (AP-HP, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Service d’Anesthésie-Réanimation, Paris and Université Paris Descartes, France)

Working subgroups leaders:

P.H. Mayo (Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York, USA)

J. Poelaert (Flemish University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium)

A. Vieillard-Baron (AP-HP, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Boulogne and Université Paris-Versailles-Saint Quentin, France)

P. Vignon (CHU Limoges, Réanimation Polyvalente, Limoges, F-87042 and INSERM 0801, Limoges, F-87042 and Université de Limoges, Limoges, F-87000)

Round table participants:

S. Alhamid (King Abdul-Aziz Medical City National Guard, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

M. Balik (First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic)

Y. Beaulieu (Hôpital Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada)

R. Breitkreutz (Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy, University Hospital and Medical Faculty of the Saarland, Homburg (Saar), Germany)

J.-L. Canivet (University Hospital Centre, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium)

P. Doelken (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA)

H. Flaatten (Haukeland Universitetssykehus, Bergen, Norway)

H. Frankel (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA)

M. Haney (Umeå University and University Hospital of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden)

A. Hilton (Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia)

E. Maury (AP-HP, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris & Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France)

R.C. McDermid (University of Alberta Hospital, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

A.S. McLean (University of Sydney Medical School, Nepean Sydney, Australia)

C. Mendes (Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Universitário UFPB, João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brasil)

M.R. Pinsky (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

S. Price (Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, UK)

D. Schmidlin (Intensive Care Medicine, Klinik Im Park, Zurich, Switzerland)

M. Slama (CHU Amiens, Amiens & INSERM ERI 12, France)

D. Talmor (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)

J. M. Teles (Intensive Care Unit-Hospital da Bahia-Salvador-Bahia-Brasil)

G. Via (IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy)

G.Voga (General Hospital Celje, Celje, Slovenia)

P. Wouters (Department of Anesthesiology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium)

T. Yamamoto (Nippon Medical School Hospital, Tokyo, Japan)


The content of this manuscript has been officially endorsed by the following societies:

American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP)

American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS)

Asia Pacific Association of Critical Care Medicine (APACCM)

Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine (AMIB)

Canadian Critical Care Society (CCCS)

Czech Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (ČSARIM)

European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiologists (EACTA)

European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA)

European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM)

Japanese Society of Intensive Care Medicine (JSICM)

Société Française d’Anesthésie-Réanimation (SFAR)

Société de Réanimation de Langue Française (SRLF)

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International expert statement on training standards for critical care ultrasonography. Intensive Care Med 37, 1077–1083 (2011) doi:10.1007/s00134-011-2246-9

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  • Ultrasound techniques
  • Echocardiography
  • Training
  • Competence