Brain Injury Lawyer Explains New Rule for Children with Head Injuries
More than 650,000 children are seen every year in hospital emergency rooms across North America suffering from the effects of mild traumatic brain injury.
CT scans are an important tool used in diagnosing the severity of brain injury. The problem is that CT scans expose children to the harmful affects of radiation.
In Canada, the number of CT scans in pediatric emergency departments has increased from 15% in 1995 to over 50% in 2005.
Rule Helps Determine Who Needs Scan
A new study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal has created a new rule to help doctors determine when a child, who has suffered a head injury, should receive a CT scan. The CATCH rule (Canadian Assessment of Tomography for Childhood Injury) uses findings from the child’s history and a physical exam to help determine which children are in need of further testing including CT scans.
Four Risk Factors
Four high-risk variables were found to be most important: a Glasgow Coma Scale score less than 15 at 2 hours after injury, suspected skull penetration or depressed skull fracture, worsening headache on history, and irritability on examination.
Rules Help Increase Accuracy/Decrease Risk
The new rules will help limit children’s exposure to the potentially harmful effects of radiation, while at the same time help increase the accuracy of diagnosing children who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
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