With the ever-changing landscape of health care delivery in the United States, a greater proportion of patients are receiving their initial care and diagnostic testing in emergency departments (EDs). With this change, significant efforts have been made to improve the speed and accuracy of diagnostic testing, particularly by
using point-of-care testing, to minimize the delay between onset of symptoms and initiation of definitive therapy. Expediting triage and time to diagnosis are crucial to decreasing morbidity and mortality in critically ill patients.1 Point-of-care testing has been shown to achieve these goals, leading to improved operational efficiency and, ultimately, better patient outcomes.2 Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) in the ED is one of the point-of-care testing tools available to the emergency physician. It answers specific clinical questions that narrow differentials, guide clinical therapy, and direct consultations and disposition. This review is meant to highlight major clinical scenarios in which PoCUS can be used as a rapid, reliable, diagnostic tool. This list of scenarios is just an overview; there are many additional situations in which PoCUS can be crucial, but the presentations are often less acute (for example, musculoskeletal complaints, procedural guidance, and pregnancy evaluation).