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The Use of FAST Scan by Paramedics in Mass-Casualty Incidents: A Simulation Study

West, B., Cusser, A., Etengoff, S. et al. (2014). The Use of FAST Scan by Paramedics in Mass-Casualty Incidents: A Simulation Study. (Abstract only.) Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. 29(6):576-9.

Ten paramedics with field experience were trained in the use of Focused Abdominal Sonography in Trauma (FAST) scan, which is used to detect free fluid in the peritoneal cavity, or pericardium, to identify injuries needing immediate surgical intervention. After 2 weeks, they used FAST to attempt to correctly identify patients with such fluid conditions. Mean accuracy was found to be low (60%; range 40-80%), and false positives (59%) were significantly greater than false negatives detected (41%).
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