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Ultrasound is widely used in the US and continental Europe in the immediate assessment of patients after blunt abdominal trauma. There are also now other recognised "primary" indications for ultrasound in emergency medicine.
In this paper current evidence supporting the implementation and use of emergency ultrasound in these primary conditions and possible other indications are assessed. The issues surrounding introduction of the technology into the practice of emergency medicine in this country are considered. It is accepted that further debate is necessary but the establishment of a robust evidence base in the UK will help to clarify the place of ultrasound.