FAST Exam – Part 5
The third area examined in a FAST exam is the left upper quadrant. The ultrasound transducer is placed in the posterior axillary line between the 9th and 10th ribs. The spleen, left kidney, and diaphragm must be seen on one image for a technically adequate view. As with the other views, slightly rocking the head of the transducer will make visualizing the structures easier by eliminating “shadowing” from the ribs.
A common mistake made by the novice examiner when trying to obtain images of the spleen and left kidney is placing the transducer head too far caudal (toward the feet) and anterior (toward the umbilicus or belly button). The confluence of the spleen and left kidney can not be seen in one view from the this position.
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