FAST Exam – Part 1
The FAST exam is an acronym for focused abdominal sonogram for trauma. It is an ultrasound test used in the trauma bay by trauma surgeons and emergency room physicians to non-invasively image the peritoneal cavity of trauma victims.
The FAST machine is a small portable console usually mounted on a cart than can be wheeled to the bedside. The cost is typically less than $30,000 for the machine, transducers, and video and recording capability and virtually all certified trauma centers in the United States have one dedicated to the trauma population.
The key part of the FAST machine is the transducer, which is the sound probe that is actually placed on the patient’s skin. Due to the contours of the body anatomy where the transducer is placed, the transducer that works best is one with a tight curve or “bullet-shaped.” Almost all trauma centers use a fixed 3.5 MHz transducer or a variable 2 -5 MHz transducer.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com