December 12, 2007 - The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) will publish the Guideline for the Performance of the FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma) Examination, to provide assistance to emergency medical practitioners and to promote high-quality ultrasound examinations.
The FAST examination is reportedly a proven procedure for the evaluation of the injured patient immediately during resuscitation to detect large abnormal fluid collections or other collections that need immediate treatment. Prior to its use, more invasive procedures, including surgery, were required to evaluate trauma patients.
The FAST guideline includes indications for performing the examination, qualifications and responsibilities of the performing physician, specifications for individual examinations, documentation requirements, equipment specifications, quality control and safety standards.
The FAST examination is reportedly taught to more than 95 percent of emergency medicine residents and included in Advanced Trauma Life Support, a training program for doctors in the management of acute trauma cases.