The role and value of ultrasound for use in soft tissue infections has been well established. This clever paper demonstrated that not only are experienced emergency physicians often incorrect about whether skin infections are harboring abscesses worthy of I&D but also that ultrasound can reliably avoid unfruitful I&D’s. In this case, we see a contained, complex (both fluid and solid debris) mass contained just beneath the skin surface. This is well seen in the still image below:
Importantly, however, the depth was then increased to reveal the femoral artery that is immediately deep to this abscess:
Great confidence in not striking this structure when doing a tight, superficial I&D is the clear benefit of this finding.