Introduction: Despite widespread use of FAST in trauma, there is a lack of data supporting its usefulness. We sought to identify the impact of FAST on clinical management of blunt trauma patients. Methods: This health records review was conducted at a single large academic Level 1 trauma center emergency department. Patients with a suspicion of acute blunt traumatic abdominal injury were identified from our health records database. Data were collected regarding FAST utilization, CT scan utilization and timing, need for definitive management, disposition, and length of stay (LOS). Results: 285 patients were included, 152 (53.3%) received a FAST examination, with 33 (22%) having a direct impact on clinical management. CT was performed in 112 (73.6%) of the FAST group, with mean time to imaging of 147.4 minutes, time to trauma team assessment of 21.5 minutes, and ED-LOS of 8.6 hours. In the non-FAST group, 33 (24.8%) received a CT, with time to imaging of 133 minutes, time to trauma team assessment of 133 minutes, and ED-LOS of 13.8 hours. 75.6% of the FAST group required admission and 9.2% required definitive management; admission was needed for 38.3% of the non-FAST group and 2.2% required definitive management. Conclusion: This is the first study to assess patient outcomes with respect to FAST in the era of early whole body CT in trauma. Although FAST does not directly impact care for the majority of blunt trauma patients, it demonstrates usefulness in some patients by directing CT utilization and expediting disposition from the ED.
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