Objectives: To evaluate the introduction of a focussed assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) scan into the early assessment of trauma patients in the UK.
Methods: The setting was an inner city teaching hospital emergency department (annual attendance 100 000). All patients aged 16 or over admitted to the resuscitation room after blunt trauma were included in a prospective observational study. Patients had a FAST scan performed at the end of the primary survey. Results were compared to results of other investigations, laparotomy, postmortem examination, or observation.
Results: 153 patients were entered into the study. The sensitivity of the FAST scan was 78% and specificity was 99%.
Conclusion: FAST is a highly specific “rule in” technique and is useful in the initial assessment of trauma patients. Emergency physicians can perform FAST after a brief training period.
- 95% CI, 95% confidence interval
- DPL, diagnostic peritoneal lavage
- FAST, focussed assessment with sonography in trauma
- GP, general practitioner
- ISS, injury severity score
- RTA, road traffic accident
- RTS, revised trauma score
- focussed assessment with sonography in trauma
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Competing interests: none declared
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