Focused assessment sonography for trauma (FAST) training: A systematic review

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim of this study was to systematically review the different methods for training Focused Assessment Sonography for Trauma (FAST), course design, and requirements for hospital credentialing. Methods: We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database and performed a manual search of selected papers. All papers and abstracts written in English that studied training and education of FAST were included. Papers were critically evaluated, looking into training methods and models of FAST, their advantages and disadvantages, number and type of training hours, practice exams in the course, and number of cases advised to achieve hospital credentialing. Results: A total of 52 studies were critically analyzed. The theoretical part of the courses lasted over a median (range) of 4 (1-16) h (n = 35 studies), while the practical part lasted over a median (range) of 4 (1-32) h (n = 34 studies). The participants performed a median (range) of 10 (3-20) FAST exams during the courses (n = 13 studies). The most commonly used model was the normal human model (65 %), followed by peritoneal dialysis patients (27 %). The least used models were animal (4 %) and cadaveric models (2 %). Each of these models had their advantages and disadvantages. The median number (range) of FAST exams needed for credentialing was 50 (10-200) (n = 19 studies). Conclusion: Standardization of FAST training is important to improving the clinical impact of FAST. Different models used in FAST training are complementary; each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is recommended that FAST courses be at least 2 days (16 h) long. The first day should include 4 h of theory and 4 h of training on normal human models. The second day should enforce learning using animal models, case scenarios including video clips, or simulators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1018
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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