Quoted from http://www.dotmed.com/news/story/5213:
The FAST examination is a proven and useful procedure for the evaluation of the injured patient immediately during resuscitation to detect large abnormal fluid collections or other collections that need immediate treatment. Prior to its use, more invasive procedures, including surgery, were required to evaluate trauma patients.
With the growing use of the FAST examination to evaluate trauma patients in hospital emergency rooms, pre-hospital situations, military locations, and disaster areas, the AIUM and ACEP joined forces to create guidelines to provide assistance to emergency medical practitioners and to promote high-quality ultrasound examinations.
Created with expert input from both traditional and emergency physician ultrasound experts, the FAST guideline includes indications for performing the examination, qualifications and responsibilities of the performing physician, specifications for individual examinations, documentation requirements, equipment specifications, quality control, and safety standards.
The FAST examination is now taught to more than 95% of emergency medicine residents and included in Advanced Trauma Life Support, a training program for doctors in the management of acute trauma cases. The FAST examination is widely accepted as the standard of care for the initial assessment and treatment in trauma centers.