FAST assessment is indicated in trauma patients who
give a history of abdominal trauma, are hypotensive,
or are unable to provide a reliable history because
of impaired consciousness due to head injury or drugs.
FAST is an adjunct to the ATLS primary survey and therefore
follows the performance of the ABCs. The ultrasound
machine should be immediately available in the trauma
room and its use should not interfere with the on-going
assessment and management of the patient.
Small, portable ultrasound machines are now available
which are highly appropriate to the trauma room environment.
Standard FAST assessment is carried out using a curvilinear
2.5 or 3.5MHz probe.
How to perform the FAST examination
Click the images below for each stage of the FAST examination
and examples of positive and negative FAST exams. These
contain short videos (400k - 1.5Mb) and you will need
a Quicktime player to read them (www.apple.com/quicktime)
Ng, trauma.org 6:12, December 2001