Accuracy of prehospital focused abdominal sonography for trauma after a 1-day hands-on training course

Emerg Med J. 2010 May;27(5):345-9. doi: 10.1136/emj.2008.059626.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Allied Health Personnel / education
  • Clinical Competence
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Emergency Responders / education*
  • Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography