Monthly Archives: February 2015

Life in the eFAST Lane: Extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (Part 1)

This is the first of a three part series reviewing the eFAST scan in detail. The goal of this series is to aid new ultrasound users to perform their first eFAST scan correctly and improve existing sonographer’s understanding of the eFAST.

The Case

There are just too many eFAST cases to choose from. Which one to tell you…? Should I talk about my first eFAST patient, the supposed-to-be-simple-but-really-wasn’t, coumadin guy who laid out his motorcycle? What about the lady from the rollover down a twenty foot embankment? Or the teenager from a horseback riding accident? Should I tell you about the night I hung out in resuscitation and did an eFAST on every patient that came through? A December night in medical school I like to think of as Ultrasound Christmas. A night when a trauma alert rolled in and before I knew what was happening, the resident put the ultrasound probe in my hand and said “Go for it!” Needless to say it was AWESOME! Like do-a-secret-happy-dance-in-the-hallway-afterwards kind of awesome. I definitely loved my ultrasound elective, especially once I became competent at eFASTs. So what’s an eFAST you ask? It’s simple really. It’s a systematic ultrasound scan to check for pneumothorax and free fluid (usually blood) in the abdomen and chest. It’s quick, easy, and incredibly useful. You don’t have to be a genius for this stuff. My first year med students can do this and so can you! If you’re going to spend time in the Emergency Department or with critically ill patients, you should learn the eFAST. End of story. So now that you’re convinced… just how do you do an eFAST?

What’s eFAST All About?

The eFAST is a fast (pun intended) and easy way to check for blood in the chest and abdomen. Continue reading Life in the eFAST Lane: Extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (Part 1)