Prospective study to evaluate the influence of FAST on trauma patient management

J Trauma. 2006 Apr;60(4):785-91. doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000214583.21492.e8.


Background: Previous studies have concentrated on the accuracy of Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST), but evaluation of whether FAST changes subsequent management has not been fully assessed.

Methods: This prospective study compared 419 trauma admissions in two groups, FAST and no-FAST, for demographics, time of resuscitation, and action after resuscitation. The 194 patients undergoing FAST had their management plan specified before, and confirmed after, FAST was performed to assess for change in management. To ensure scan consistency and to minimize bias, criteria were established to define an adequate FAST.

Results: FAST was performed in 194 patients (46%), assessing for free fluid. Management was changed in 59 cases (32.8%) after FAST. Laparotomy was prevented in 1 patient, computed tomography was prevented in 23 patients, and diagnostic peritoneal lavage was prevented in 15 patients. Computed tomography rates were reduced from 47% to 34% and diagnostic peritoneal lavage rates were reduced from 9% to 1%.

Conclusions: FAST plays a key role in trauma, changing subsequent management in an appreciable number of patients.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Laparotomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery