Timing is crucial when caring for an injured patient, and the evaluation requires a systematic, rapid, and thorough assessment to identify and treat immediate life-threatening injuries. An integral component of this assessment is the Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) and the extended FAST (eFAST). These assessments allow for a rapid, noninvasive, portable, accurate, repeatable, and inexpensive means of diagnosing internal injury to the abdomen, chest, and pelvis. Understanding the basic principles of ultrasonography, having a thorough familiarity with the equipment, and being knowledgeable in anatomy allow the bedside practitioner to use this tool to rapidly assess injured patients. This article reviews the basic tenets that underpin the FAST and eFAST evaluations. Practical interventions and tips are provided to assist novice operators—all with the goal of decreasing the learning curve.

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