Point-of-care ultrasonography for diagnosing thoracoabdominal injuries in patients with blunt trauma

To determine the diagnostic accuracy of point-of-care (POC) ultrasonography (US) in the detection and exclusion of:

  1. free fluid in the thoracic or abdominal cavities;
  2. organ injuries with or without bleeding in the thoracic or abdominal cavities;
  3. vascular lesions of the thoracic or abdominal aorta, or other major vessels; and
  4. other injuries (e.g. pneumothorax);

compared to any objective diagnostic reference standard (i.e. computed tomograph (CT; 'pan-scan'), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), thoracotomy, laparotomy, laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, autopsy, or any combination of these).

The secondary objectives of this review are to investigate the influence of individual study and cohort characteristics such as the:

  1. reference standard;
  2. target condition;
  3. patient age;
  4. patient disease status: type of trauma, type of injury, haemodynamic stability, injury severity or probability of survival;
  5. environment;
  6. operator's expertise and background;
  7. hardware; and
  8. test thresholds;

on both positive and negative POC sonograms.

We provide more details about the above enumerated characteristics in Investigations of heterogeneity.

This is a protocol.