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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2011 Nov;17(6):488-92. doi: 10.5505/tjtes.2011.89914.

Our new stethoscope in the emergency department: handheld ultrasound.

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Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.



The concept of Focused Assessment with Ultrasound for Trauma (FAST), which was introduced by Rozycki et al. in 1996, has started a new era in the management of trauma patients. Today, Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) suggests bedside ultrasonography (USG) evaluation of trauma patients. We aimed to investigate the usability and the reliability of handheld ultrasound (Vscan) in determining free fluid during the initial evaluation of trauma patients.


This was a multi-center, prospective study involving multiple trauma patients who presented to three hospital emergency departments (EDs). FAST was completed using Vscan by an emergency physician and an abdominal USG was performed by a radiologist on all patients. Results of Vscan, abdominal USG and other radiological studies, if performed, were compared.


A total of 216 patients were included in the study. Of those, 203 had negative Vscan results, while 13 had positive results. When USG performed by a radiologist was considered as the gold standard, Vscan sensitivity for FAST was 88.9%, specificity was 97.6%, negative predictive value was 99.5%, and positive predictive value was 61.5% in our study.


Vscan, as the smallest portable imaging device, seems to have a promising future as an indispensable gadget, equal to stethoscopes, in evaluating trauma and other critical patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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