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Injury. 2010 May;41(5):484-7. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2009.08.009. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

Validation of nurse-performed FAST ultrasound.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2170, Australia. justin.bowra@sah.org.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients presenting to Emergency Departments (EDs) with abdominal trauma benefit from FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma). Not all doctor members of the trauma team are credentialed in FAST; therefore occasionally no one is available in the hospital to undertake a FAST. Hence, the aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of nurse-performed FAST as a practical alternative where suitably trained doctors are not available.

METHODS:

This was a prospective study of a convenience sample of patients with multisystem trauma in whom abdominal injury was clinically suspected. Senior nurses trained in FAST performed and reported FAST scans for each patient. Accuracy of nurse-performed FAST was determined by comparing results with computerised tomography (CT) scan or operation report.

RESULTS:

242 indicated nurse-performed FAST scans were included in the study. Nurse-performed FAST demonstrated sensitivity of 84.4% (95% CI 72.1-92.2) and specificity of 98.4% (CI 94.9-99.6), a positive predictive value (PPV) of 94.2% (CI 83.1-98.5) and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 95.3% (91.0-97.7). Overall accuracy of nurse-performed FAST for the detection of free fluid was 95.0% (95% CI 91.3-97.3).

CONCLUSION:

This study demonstrates that, in a convenience sample of injured patients, nurse-performed FAST achieved similar accuracy to previously published results of doctor-performed FAST. Future studies with greater patient numbers would be valuable.

PMID:
19800621
DOI:
10.1016/j.injury.2009.08.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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