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Accuracy of prehospital focused abdominal sonography for trauma after a 1-day hands-on training course
  1. Felix Walcher1,
  2. Thomas Kirschning2,
  3. Michael P Müller3,
  4. Christian Byhahn2,
  5. Mario Stier1,
  6. Miriam Rüsseler1,
  7. Franziska Brenner1,
  8. Jörg Braun4,
  9. Ingo Marzi1,
  10. Raoul Breitkreutz2,5
  1. 1Department of Trauma Surgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  2. 2Department of Anesthesiology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
  3. 3Department of Anesthesiology, Carl Gustav Carus Hospital, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
  4. 4German Air Rescue, DRF Luftrettung, Filderstadt, Germany
  5. 5Medical faculty of the University of the Saarland, University hospital, Homburg/Saar, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr F Walcher, Department of Trauma Surgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany; walcher{at}


Objectives To establish a training course for Prehospital Focused Abdominal Sonography for Trauma (P-FAST) and to evaluate the accuracy of the participants after the course and at the trauma scene.

Methods A training programme was developed to provide medical staff with the skills needed to perform P-FAST. In order to evaluate the accuracy of P-FAST performed by the students, nine participants (five emergency doctors and four paramedics) were followed during their course and in practice after the course. An assessment was made of 200 ultrasound procedures performed during the course in healthy volunteers and in patients with peritoneal dialysis or ascites. Regular P-FAST performed on-scene by the participants commenced immediately following the course. The results for the nine participants (C-group, course group) were compared with those members of medical staff with more than 3 years of experience in FAST (P-group, professional group). A group of physicians untrained in P-FAST served as a control (I-group, indifferent group). P-FAST findings were further verified by subsequent FAST and CT scans in the emergency department.

Results After the training programme the C-group performed 39 P-FAST procedures without any false negative or false positive findings (100% accuracy). In the P-group, 112 procedures were performed with one false positive case. In the I-group there were 2 false negative cases among the 46 procedures performed.

Conclusion Following completion of a 1-day P-FAST course, participants were able to perform ultrasound procedures at the scene of an accident with a high level of accuracy.

  • Multiply injured patient
  • ultrasound course
  • blunt abdominal trauma
  • trauma management
  • prehospital focused
  • clinical assessment
  • education
  • clinical assessment
  • competence
  • emergency ambulance systems
  • imaging
  • ultrasound
  • Trauma
  • major trauma management
  • prehospital focused abdominal sonography for trauma
  • ultrasound course

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  • Data from the study were presented at the 1st World Congress on Ultrasound in Emergency and Intensive Care, Milan, June 2005.

  • Funding Institutional support (Department of Trauma Surgery, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main). No other funding sources.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the University Hospital, Frankfurt/Main.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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