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Saudi Med J. 2005 May;26(5):806-11.

Establishment of a course for Focused Assessment Sonography for Trauma.

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Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain.



Focused Assessment Sonography for Trauma (FAST) is not widely practiced by Trauma Surgeons in the Middle East despite its international acceptance. A FAST course was established by the Trauma Group at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at United Arab Emirates (UAE) University aiming to introduce doctors who have limited experience of ultrasound to the basics of FAST. This article summarizes the content of the course; the evaluation of the participants and their recommendations.


An 8 hour FAST course was offered to 18 participants in May 2004 in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, Al-Ain, UAE. Lectures with syllabus material were used to cover the following topics: basic ultrasound physics, knobology and sonographic orientation, the FAST scan, chest and cardiac trauma sonographic evaluation, training and credentialing issues. Each participant received 3 hours of hands-on ultrasound instruction. On completion of the course participants responded anonymously to an evaluation questionnaire.


All participants responded to the questionnaire (100% response rate). Delegates found the course well organized, relevant, met their needs and encourages them to use FAST in their own practice. The course objectives were met. Participants suggested that including actual patients and the use of animal models improve the practical sessions.


Organizing a FAST course is an important step towards recognizing and implementing it in practice. Nevertheless, there is a need for appropriate quality assurance and credentialing guidelines before commencing.

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