Clinical Review

Clinical Pearls for the Extended Focused Assessment With Sonography for Trauma Examination

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Tough Cardiac Window? Try These Tips

A subxiphoid window is typically used to assess for pericardial effusion. To obtain this view, the clinician usually needs to increase the depth setting by a few centimeters (typically to around 18 cm). When the patient is able to do so, he or she may assist in the examination by bending his or her knees or taking a deep breath to help bring the heart into view. Despite these efforts, however, in some patients, it is technically impossible to obtain a subxiphoid view. In such cases, switching to an alternate view, such as the parasternal window, may be successful in visualizing the subxiphoid region.


Proper gain adjustment, thorough scanning of the thoracoabdominal region, and knowledge of common artifacts and signs are essential to ensuring an accurate and thorough POC EFAST examination.

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