Total-body digital X-ray in trauma. An experience report on the first operational full body scanner in Europe and its possible role in ATLS

Injury. 2008 May;39(5):525-9. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2007.10.019. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


When patients enter our emergency room with suspected multiple injuries, Statscan provides a full body anterior and lateral image for initial diagnosis, and then zooms in on specific smaller areas for a more detailed evaluation. In order to examine the possible role of Statscan in the management of multiply injured patients we implemented a modified ATLS((R)) algorithm, where X-ray of C-spine, chest and pelvis have been replaced by single-total a.p./lat. body radiograph. Between 15 October 2006 and 1 February 2007 143 trauma patients (mean ISS 15+/-14 (3-75)) were included. We compared the time in resuscitation room to 650 patients (mean ISS 14+/-14 (3-75)) which were treated between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004 according to conventional ATLS protocol. The total-body scanning time was 3.5 min (3-6 min) compared to 25.7 (8-48 min) for conventional X-rays, The total ER time was unchanged 28.7 min (13-58 min) compared to 29.1 min (15-65 min) using conventional plain radiography. In 116/143 patients additional CT scans were necessary. In 98/116 full body trauma CT scans were performed. In 18/116 patients selective CT scans were ordered based on Statscan findings. In 43/143 additional conventional X-rays had to be performed, mainly due to inadequate a.p. views of fractured bones. All radiographs were transmitted over the hospital network (Picture Archiving and Communication System, PACS) for immediate simultaneous viewing at different places. The rapid availability of images for interpretation because of their digital nature and the reduced need for repeat exposures because of faulty radiography are also felt to be strengths.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care* / methods
  • Critical Care* / standards
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / standards
  • Humans
  • Multiple Trauma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiography
  • Switzerland
  • Time Factors
  • Whole Body Imaging* / methods
  • Whole Body Imaging* / standards