© 2013 Roy Benaroch, MD
Last time, I wrote about the reasons for the overuse of CT scans in children. They’re incorrectly perceived as necessary, the risks are far away, and no one really cares about the costs and consequences. But I don’t mean to imply that CTs are always bad. Sometimes a CT scan really is a good idea.
Pediatric head trauma can cause significant and lasting problems, and sometimes needs urgent neurosurgical intervention. How can physicians and parents tell which children are at high risk for problems, versus children at such low risk that scanning is unnecessary?
Tworecent studies have looked at this issue critically, reviewing “clinical decision rules” that help predict what children are more or less likely to have an important finding on a CT scan after trauma. Both studies tried to identify the best ways, based on only the clinical history…
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