There are many pitfalls in carrying out a FAST scan.  Realistically, the chief one is the tendency to stray beyond the areas of level 1 training.  Beyond this, other potential pitfalls are:

  • Failure to be clear why FAST is indicated
  • Assuming free fluid is blood
  • Saying a negative scan is a normal scan
  • Not repeating scans
  • Carrying out a scan while the patient is sitting at 45 degrees
  • Ruling out pathology, rather than using FAST to rule in pathology
  • Failure to work to the algorthym

At all times think about the history and context, and ensure you are attempting to answer a legitimate question.

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