The evaluation of the blunt trauma patient frequently includes the focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) exam. Additional point-of-care applications for ultrasound in blunt trauma patients are emerging. Ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic technique generally considered to be relatively inexpensive, offering the potential for improved outcomes and lower costs. However, formal evaluation of ultrasound’s effect on cost-effectiveness has occurred in a piecemeal fashion. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available evidence regarding whether ultrasound is cost-effective for evaluation of blunt trauma patients, and what factors may affect its cost-effectiveness.
Cost-effectiveness; Ultrasound; Trauma; FAST exam