Introduction: Intra-abdominal hemorrhage due to blunt abdominal trauma is a major cause of trauma-related mortality. Therefore, any action taken for facilitating the diagnosis of intra-abdominal hemorrhage could save the lives of patients more effectively. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) performed by emergency physicians.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study from February 2011 to January 2012 at 7th Tir Hospital in Tehran (Iran), 120 patients with abdominal blunt trauma were chosen and evaluated for abdominal fluid. FAST sonography was performed for all the subjects by emergency residents and radiologists while they were blind to the other tests. Abdominal CTs, which is the gold standard, were done for all of the cases. SPSS 20.0 was used to analyze the results.
Results: During the study, 120 patients with abdominal blunt trauma were evaluated; the mean age of the patients was 33.0 ± 16.6 and the gender ratio was 3/1 (M/F). The results of FAST sonography by emergency physicians showed free fluid in the abdomen or pelvic spaces in 33 patients (27.5%), but this was not observed by the results of CT scans of six patients; sensitivity and specificity were 93.1 and 93.4%, respectively. As for tests performed by radiology residents, sensitivity was a bit higher (96.5%) with lower specificity (92.3%).
Conclusion: The results suggested that emergency physicians can use ultrasonography as a safe and reliable method in evaluating blunt abdominal trauma.
Keywords: Emergency; FAST; Radiology.