Objective: To assemble an international panel of experts to develop consensus recommendations on selected important issues on the use of ultrasonography (US) in trauma care.
Setting: R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, Md. The conference was held on December 4, 1997.
Participants: A committee of two co-directors and eight faculty members, in the disciplines of surgery and emergency medicine, representing four nations. Each faculty member had made significant contributions to the current understanding of US in trauma.
Results: Six broad topics felt to be controversial or to have wide variation in practice were discussed using the ad hoc process: (1) US nomenclature and technique; (2) US for organ-specific injury; (3) US scoring systems; (4) the meaning of positive and negative US studies; (5) US credentialing issues; and (6) future applications of US. Consensus recommendations were made when unanimous agreement was reached. Majority viewpoints and minority opinions are presented for unresolved issues.
Conclusion: The consensus conference process fostered an international sharing of ideas. Continued communication is needed to advance the science and technology of US in trauma care.