Trauma ultrasound

​Trauma is a key contributor to morbidity and mortality around the world and is predicted to become the third largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020 (1,2). Alongside many historical advancements in care of the trauma patient, management of the trauma patient has seen the evolution and integration of the eFAST (Extended Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma) examination (3,4). Acute care physicians and trauma practitioners alike, equipped with the EFAST examination, can detect life-threatening injuries immediately at the bedside without the use of invasive measures or ionizing radiation. EFAST can trigger early intervention and guidance to inform judicious management of the trauma patient with injuries including pneumothorax, hemothorax, intra-abdominal haemorrhage, and pericardial hemorrhage.

In this section we will highlight and review core elements of the eFAST examination.

These videos were composed by a multi-disciplinary team including:

Brian Buchanan, MD MMEd FRCPC, Critical Care Medicine
Brett Mador, MD MMEd FRCSC, General Surgery & Trauma
Chris Fung, MD FRCPC, Radiology
Ian Williamson, MD FRCPC, Emergency Medicine
Damion Paton-Gay, MD FRCSC, General Surgery & Trauma
Sandy Widder, MD MSc MHA FRCSC, General Surgery & Trauma
Kam Fathimani, MD FRCSC, General Surgery & Trauma


1. Canada PHA of. Facts on Injury. Accessed June 20, 2011.
2. Scurfield; MPR, Mohan; DSD, Jarawan AAHE, Mathers and C. World Health Organization: World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention. Geneva; 2004.
3. Williams SR, Perera P, Gharahbaghian L. The FAST and E-FAST in 2013: trauma ultrasonography: overview, practical techniques, controversies, and new frontiers. Crit Care Clin. 2014;30(1):119-50-vi.
4. Patel NY, Riherd JM. Focused assessment with sonography for trauma: methods, accuracy, and indications. Surg Clin North Am. 2011;91(1):195-207. doi:10.1016/j.suc.2010.10.008.