A number of conditions may interfere with the diagnostic usability of the FAST examination for evaluating a patient with blunt abdominal trauma. Recognition of these problems can allow for alternative diagnostic methods to be used, such as computed tomography (CT).


Traumatic injuries without hemoperitoneum (< 250 mL):

(1) blunt trauma to liver, spleen or kidney

(2) ruptured hollow viscus

(3) diaphragmatic injury

(4) mesenteric injuries

(5) fractures

(6) retroperitoneal hemorrhage


Technical limitations:

(1) inexperience of operator

(2) obesity

(3) subcutaneous emphysema

(4) extensive bowel gas

(5) previous abdominal operations

(6) hemothorax or pneumothorax (for evaluation of the pericardial cavity)


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.