ASE Policy Statement on Adult Cardiac Sonographer Performing Screening Echocardiograms in the Newborn

On May 27, 2021, ASE approved the following policy statement on the adult cardiac sonographer performing screening echocardiograms in the newborn:

ASE is committed to supporting sonographers provide the best care for patients of all ages, newborns through adults. The ASE recognizes that sonographers without specialized pediatric training will be asked to perform transthoracic echocardiograms in newborn infants at institutions without onsite pediatric sonographers and pediatric cardiologists. The primary indication for these neonatal echocardiograms will be to assess for the presence of critical congenital heart disease that may require emergency medical intervention and transfer to a tertiary pediatric cardiac center for further infant care. Realizing the stress and challenges this scenario imposes upon sonographers, the ASE advocates for the universal adoption of the following:

  1. Availability of additional sonographer training (online or in-person) for sonographers tasked with performing these scans;
  2. Development of immediately accessible online educational tools;
  3. Availability of appropriate ultrasound equipment for imaging newborn infants at all institutions performing Obstetrical deliveries and neonatal pulse oximetry screening;
  4. Information Technology resources to support high bandwidth telemedicine transfer of imaging data; and
  5. Establishment of formal telemedicine agreements or consultative privileges between hospitals without on-site pediatric cardiology presence and designated pediatric cardiologists available for prompt consultation.

To review ASE’s policy statements, click here.