EYE ON DIAGNOSTICS: FAST results Using focused assessment with sonography for trauma

February 2004 
Volume 34  Number 2
Pages 21 - 21
  PDF Version Available!


  • FAST facts

  • Pros and cons of FAST

  • How Mr. Cox fares


    JAY COX, 27, arrives in the ED after sustaining blunt trauma to his chest and abdomen in a motorcycle collision. He's minimally responsive and hypotensive (BP, 88/54 mm Hg), and he moans when you examine his firm abdomen. To assess the extent of his injuries, the ED physician orders focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST). Let's examine what FAST can reveal about Mr. Cox's condition.

    FAST facts

    A noninvasive 3-minute diagnostic test, FAST helps the clinician evaluate abdominal and chest injuries in a trauma patient with hypotension or altered consciousness. The test, which assesses free fluid in the pericardial, perihepatic, perisplenic, and pelvic regions, is used in most Level I trauma centers to identify intraperitoneal hemorrhage and pericardial tamponade.

    To perform FAST, ...

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