Less CT scans with more ER observation time

People in Florida might be interested to hear that children who are admitted to emergency room departments for head trauma are less likely to require CT scans the longer that they are observed. The results of a study that was published online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that with every hour of observation that went by, there was a decrease in the CT rates of children with minor blunt head trauma. This was consistent with children no matter whether they had a low, immediate or high risk of traumatic brain injury.

The study also showed that the more observation taking place before making decisions regarding the need for a CT scan, the less CT usage there was without delaying the diagnosis of children who did have a traumatic brain injury. In the study, physicians observed approximately half of the children who exhibited symptoms of minor blunt head trauma that were enrolled in the study before determining whether there was a need for CT scans.

Most children who were watched had their symptoms improve during the observation period. Furthermore, every hour of observation reportedly reduced CTs by approximately 70 percent. The study also revealed that although more than half a million children are taken to the emergency room department every year for blunt head trauma, very few of those children will actually develop brain injuries from the trauma.

People who developed conditions or had conditions that were worsened due to physicians’ errors might be able to file medical malpractice claims to seek compensation for their injuries. Medical malpractice attorneys might be able to assist people in preparing their suits by providing evidence that validates their claim . They might also be able to help them negotiate settlements without having to undergo long, drawn-out court battles.

Source: News Medical, “Observation time in ER is associated with reduced CT rates for children at risk of TBI“, August 07, 2013