Extended-focused assessment with sonography in trauma (E-FAST) has been introduced as a free fluid identification technique in the abdomen, and currently, like stethoscopes, it is routinely used to assess traumatic patients, as part of physical examination tools. We decided to examine the effect of using E-FAST in the clinical judgment of the physicians managing patients with blunt abdominal and chest wall trauma.
In this cross-sectional study, all patients who were admitted from May 2014 till May 2015 to the emergency department of Imam Khomeini and Sina Hospitals, Tehran, Iran, with an abdominal or chest blunt trauma and for whom E-FAST was conducted were enrolled. In a preprepared checklist, possible consequences based on the primary clinical judgment of a physician were recorded; and then, the results from E-FAST on existence or nonexistence of free fluid or air in the peritoneal or pleural space were presented, and the possible consequences according to the results obtained from the E-FAST were also recorded again. Based on actual outcome of patients’ condition in the first 24 h, statistical characteristics for each pathology were calculated.
In this study, 115 patients with a mean age of 36.20 ± 12.37 years were examined including 92 (80%) men. The correlation coefficient between the possibility of hemorrhagic shock, pneumothorax, hemoperitoneum, solid organ damage, and hemothorax before and after the E-FAST based on the Kappa criteria was 0.803, 0.642, 0.430, 0.331, and 0.318, respectively.
The results of this study showed that performing E-FAST increases the sensitivity of history and physical examination in diagnosis of pneumothorax, hemoperitoneum, solid organ damage, and hemothorax.
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