Article Text

PDF
FAST in the deployed military setting

Abstract

Introduction Focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) is historically an effective method of assessing the patient in the trauma bay in order to aid decision-making and optimise patient outcomes. However, in the UK civilian practice, the use of FAST may decline given a recent change in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance as a result of improvement in CT availability and resuscitation techniques.

Method In the Role 3 Medical Treatment Facility, Camp Bastion, 187 patients with trauma who received FAST in the trauma bay in 2014 were reviewed to determine the accuracy of FAST in the deployed environment.

Results The data demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity of FAST to be 75% and 99.3%, respectively.

Conclusions This study demonstrates that FAST is accurate on operations. FAST is provided by the integrated radiologist as part of damage control radiology, which gives the team leader rapid diagnostic information to improve decision-making and ultimately patient outcomes. CT is heavily utilised in civilian practice; however, the military operates in a different environment often with multiple casualties and limited access to CT, as a result, portable ultrasound will continue to be a valuable tool on operations if used properly. The next challenge is to develop and maintain this high diagnostic accuracy in future deployments where the memories of our prior success may fade.

  • diagnostic radiology
  • ultrasound
  • trauma management
  • trauma management
  • gastrointestinal imaging

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.