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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2009 Aug 6;17:34. doi: 10.1186/1757-7241-17-34.

Clinician performed resuscitative ultrasonography for the initial evaluation and resuscitation of trauma.

Author information

  • 1Regional Trauma Services, Calgary Heath Region and Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. gillmanlm@yahoo.ca



Traumatic injury is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries worldwide. Recent studies suggest that many deaths are preventable if injuries are recognized and treated in an expeditious manner - the so called 'golden hour' of trauma. Ultrasound revolutionized the care of the trauma patient with the introduction of the FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma) examination; a rapid assessment of the hemodynamically unstable patient to identify the presence of peritoneal and/or pericardial fluid. Since that time the use of ultrasound has expanded to include a rapid assessment of almost every facet of the trauma patient. As a result, ultrasound is not only viewed as a diagnostic test, but actually as an extension of the physical exam.


A review of the medical literature was performed and articles pertaining to ultrasound-assisted assessment of the trauma patient were obtained. The literature selected was based on the preference and clinical expertise of authors.


In this review we explore the benefits and pitfalls of applying resuscitative ultrasound to every aspect of the initial assessment of the critically injured trauma patient.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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