Podcast 569:  The eFAST Exam - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 569:  The eFAST Exam

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:.  

  • Focused assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) exam and the extended-FAST (eFAST) are essential components of current trauma care and evaluation
  • There has been an accumulation of research to provide an estimate of effectiveness of identifying certain injuries with ultrasound:
    • For identifying a pneumothorax, the sensitivity ~70% and specificity ~99%.
    • For pericardial effusions, sensitivity 90% and specificity ~ 94%.
    • For hemoperitoneum, sensitivity ~74% and the specificity ~98%.
  • While ultrasound is excellent for identifying many injuries, it may not be adequate alone to rule out serious injuries if the clinical suspicion is high based on these pooled studies


Netherton S, Milenkovic V, Taylor M, Davis PJ. Diagnostic accuracy of eFAST in the trauma patient: a systematic review and meta-analysis. CJEM. 2019;21(6):727‐738. doi:10.1017/cem.2019.381

Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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