Mar 23, 2006    #054
Contact: Noemi Rojas
(816) 235-1520

UMKC professors collaborate in FAST clinical investigation

When patients with blunt abdominal trauma show up at the emergency department, doctors must quickly and safely determine whether internal bleeding is occurring.

Through the use of ultrasound waves, the FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma) examination is an attractive alternative for determining bleeding because it is faster than a CAT scan and noninvasive compared to surgery.

However, a recent clinical study conducted by professors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine found that a learning curve for doctors exists for accurate interpretation of FAST exams.

Anechoic stripe size on FAST examinations and emergency physician experience level with FAST examination interpretation had a significant influence on the interpretation accuracy of videotaped FAST examinations. Precision was also enhanced by increased emergency physician experience with FAST.

Lead investigator in the study was O. John Ma, M.D., of the emergency medicine department at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill. Co-investigator was Gary Gaddis, PhD., M.D., of the emergency medicine department at Saint Luke’s Hospital. Both are professors at the UMKC School of Medicine.

Their study was published last month in Academic Emergency Medicine, a publication of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

The UMKC School of Medicine partners with Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, Truman Medical Centers, Western Missouri Mental Health Center and the Kansas City VA Hospital. For more information on the UMKC School of Medicine, visit

UMKC is one of fewer than 30 research universities in the United States that has medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy education programs all located on one campus. To learn more about health and life sciences at UMKC, please visit

UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).



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