Surgeon-Directed Ultrasound for Trauma is a Predictor of Intra-Abdominal Injury in Children

Suthers, S. E.; Albrecht, Roxie; Foley, David; Mantor, P. Cameron; Puffinbarger, Nikola K.; Jones, Susan K.; Tuggle, David W.
February 2004
American Surgeon;Feb2004, Vol. 70 Issue 2, p164
Academic Journal
This study investigated the efficacy of surgeon-directed focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) in conjunction with physical exam (PEx) as a predictor of intro-abdominal injury in children. Injured children (ages ≤ 17) presenting to a level I trauma center with abdominal trauma were evaluated in the emergency department (ED) by the trauma team of surgical attendings and residents. PEx and FAST were performed immediately upon arrival to the ED and results compared to CT, the standard exam for presence of intro-abdominal injury. Data was collected prospectively from July 1, 2000, until April 30, 2002. One hundred and twenty injured children underwent evaluation of abdominal trauma with PEx, FAST, and abdominal CT. Two patients had false-negative CT scans. Bayesian analysis was applied to the results of the remaining 118 patients. FAST compared with CT findings revealed sensitivity 70 per cent, specificity 100 per cent, positive predictive value 100 per cent, and negative predictive value 92 per cent. FAST results were combined with PEx findings such that either suggestive of intro-abdominal injury was regarded as a "positive exam." Sensitivity was 100 per cent, specificity 74 per cent, positive predictive value 53 per cent, and negative predictive value 100 per cent. Surgeon-directed FAST with consideration of PEx is a predictor of intro-abdominal injury in children.


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