The medical facility at Camp Bastion continues to evolve as a consequence of the increased throughput of battlefield trauma patients. There is a requirement for rapid and accurate diagnosis of haemodynamic instability and continued haemodynamic monitoring throughout the peri-operative period. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) has been used for this purpose in the arena of cardiac anaesthesia since the mid 1980s. It is being introduced to other peri-operative settings where severe haemodynamic instability is expected. The old proverb: ‘There are none so blind as those who cannot see’ (Jeremiah 5:21) is applicable to this topic, in that TOE is proven to be a rapid, portable, safe and effective tool in the assessment of the haemodynamically unstable patient. This paper explores the application of TOE for the assessment of the major causes of haemodynamic instability in the trauma population.
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