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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2000 Oct;16(5):375-6.

Serial bedside emergency ultrasound in a case of pediatric blunt abdominal trauma with severe abdominal pain.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


We present a case of a teenager with isolated left renal laceration with perirenal hematoma. The patient had presented with severe left upper quadrant (LUQ) pain following blunt abdominal trauma (BAT) sustained during a sledding accident. A screening bedside focused abdominal sonogram for trauma (FAST) rapidly excluded free fluid on two serial examinations, 30 minutes apart. It provided the pediatric emergency physician with a measure of diagnostic confidence that the patient could be safely transported to the CT suite for detailed delineation of his injury. Moreover, narcotic analgesia was liberally administered early in his illness course, without the fear of unmasking potential hypovolemia when it was known that he did not have gross intra-abdominal bleeding on his bedside ultrasound (US). It also provided a working diagnosis of the primary organ of injury. Our hospital, like many pediatric hospitals around the nation, does not have in-house 24-hour radiology support. We suggest that the use of the bedside US be extended to the stable pediatric patient in severe abdominal pain following BAT. It can serve as a valuable, rapid, noninvasive, bedside, easily repeated, fairly accurate triage tool to evaluate pediatric BAT with severe pain.

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