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FAST in the deployed military setting
  1. Nicholas James Carter1 and
  2. D Gay2
  1. 1 Department of Radiology, Peninsula Radiology Academy, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2 Department of Musculoskeletal Radiology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  1. Correspondence to Nicholas James Carter, Department of Radiology, Peninsula Radiology Academy, Plymouth UK PL6 5WR, UK; nickcarter1{at}


Introduction Focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) is historically an effective method of assessing the patient in the trauma bay in order to aid decision-making and optimise patient outcomes. However, in the UK civilian practice, the use of FAST may decline given a recent change in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance as a result of improvement in CT availability and resuscitation techniques.

Method In the Role 3 Medical Treatment Facility, Camp Bastion, 187 patients with trauma who received FAST in the trauma bay in 2014 were reviewed to determine the accuracy of FAST in the deployed environment.

Results The data demonstrates the sensitivity and specificity of FAST to be 75% and 99.3%, respectively.

Conclusions This study demonstrates that FAST is accurate on operations. FAST is provided by the integrated radiologist as part of damage control radiology, which gives the team leader rapid diagnostic information to improve decision-making and ultimately patient outcomes. CT is heavily utilised in civilian practice; however, the military operates in a different environment often with multiple casualties and limited access to CT, as a result, portable ultrasound will continue to be a valuable tool on operations if used properly. The next challenge is to develop and maintain this high diagnostic accuracy in future deployments where the memories of our prior success may fade.

  • diagnostic radiology
  • ultrasound
  • trauma management
  • trauma management
  • gastrointestinal imaging
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  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally to the conception of the paper. The data was jointly collected, mainly by NJC. The first draft and main changes were done by the NJC. DG gave guidance and direction to the finished paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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