Clinician-performed focused sonography for the resuscitation of trauma

Crit Care Med. 2007 May;35(5 Suppl):S162-72. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000260627.97284.5D.


Traumatic death remains pandemic. The majority of preventable deaths occur early and are due to injuries or physiologic derangements in the airway, thoracoabdominal cavities, or brain. Ultrasound is a noninvasive and portable imaging modality that spans a spectrum between the physical examination and diagnostic imaging. It allows trained examiners to immediately confirm important syndromes and answer clinical questions. Newer technologies greatly increase the fidelity, accessibility, ease of use, and informatic manipulation of the results. The early bedside use of focused ultrasound as the initial imaging modality used to detect hemoperitoneum and hemopericardium in the resuscitation of the injured patient has become an accepted standard of care. Widespread dissemination of basic ultrasound skills and technology to facilitate this brings ultrasound to many resuscitative and critical care areas. Although not as widely appreciated, the focused use of ultrasound may also have a role in detecting hemothoraces and pneumothoraces, guiding airway management, and detecting increased intracranial pressure. Intensivists generally utilize a treating philosophy that requires the real-time integration of many divergent sources of information regarding their patients' anatomy and physiology. They are therefore positioned to take advantage of focused resuscitative ultrasound, which offers immediate diagnostic information in the early care of the critically injured.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Ultrasonography / trends
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnostic imaging*