Because it is unique in being portable, rapid, and noninvasive, ultrasound is particularly suited to the trauma setting. When performed by the surgeon, it offers immediate feedback that can be incorporated into the management plan for the patient. Multiple studies in this area have now documented that surgeons can perform and interpret focused ultrasound examinations. Enthusiasm for surgeons as ultrasonographers will likely increase now that the Advanced Trauma Life Support Subcommittee of the American College of Surgeons has published an algorithm that includes ultrasound for the assessment of patients with blunt truncal injuries. As a rapid, sensitive, and specific diagnostic test for the detection of pericardial tamponade, hemothorax, and hemoperitoneum, ultrasound is now an integral part of the practice at many Level I trauma centers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas