Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Mary Zerlan

Project Team Faculty Member

Kay Gaehle

Project Team Faculty Member

Matt Bednarchik


point of care ultrasound, POCUS, pulmonary aspiration, gastric content, obese, airway management


Pulmonary aspiration of gastric content is a potentially injurious and fatal complication of anesthesia. Obese patients with a BMI ≥ 35 presenting for elective surgery are at an increased risk of aspiration due to increased gastric pressure, delayed gastric emptying, and higher gastric volumes. Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) is a tool that allows the nurse anesthetist to assess gastric content and assign aspiration risk based on the scan results. A knowledge improvement project in the form of a lecture and hands-on tutorial focused on using POCUS to assess gastric content and assign aspiration risk was designed. This project was implemented for the anesthesia providers at a community hospital in central Illinois. Four pre and post-test surveys were collected which demonstrated an improvement in knowledge and a high willingness to utilize the tool in the future. All anesthesia providers agreed upon the value that POCUS brings to preoperative assessment of gastric content and determination of aspiration risk, and that this tool could be used in other patient populations including those with chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus.

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Literature Review

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Conceptual Framework

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Project Methods

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Evaluation Process

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Final Reference List

Included in

Nursing Commons



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