An eFAST exam was performed on a patient who was brought in 5 minutes after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The eFAST exam was negative.
What is the conclusion and next steps?
A. The eFAST exam was negative, so the patient can be sent home
B. The negative eFAST exam suggests that the patient either may not have any internal bleeding or may have a small volume of internal bleeding that could not be detected on ultrasound. The patient may require observation and a follow-up eFAST exam.
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The eFAST exam has a high specificity and sensitivity. However, a negative exam performed early may not rule out the possibility of internal organ damage or small internal bleeding. If the blood volume is significant, it will be readily seen on ultrasound. Observe the patient and monitor vitals and rule out the possibility of an internal bleed before discharging the patient. Some centers may also order a CT scan if the patient is stable.