Computed tomography is not justified in every pediatric blunt trauma patient with a suspicious mechanism of injury

Yehuda Hershkovitz, Itai Zoarets, Albert Stepansky, Eran Kozer, Zahar Shapira, Baruch Klin, Ariel Halevy, Igor Jeroukhimov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective Computed tomography (CT) has become an important tool for the diagnosis of intra-abdominal and chest injuries in patients with blunt trauma. The role of CT in conscious asymptomatic patients with a suspicious mechanism of injury remains controversial. This controversy intensifies in the management of pediatric blunt trauma patients, who are much more susceptible to radiation exposure. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of abdominal and chest CT imaging in asymptomatic pediatric patients with a suspicious mechanism of injury. Methods Forty-two pediatric patients up to 15 years old were prospectively enrolled. All patients presented with a suspicious mechanism of blunt trauma and multisystem injury. They were neurologically intact and had no signs of injury to the abdomen or chest. Patients underwent CT imaging of the chest and abdomen as part of the initial evaluation. Results Thirty-one patients (74%) had a normal CT scan. Two patients of 11 with an abnormal CT scan required a change in management and were referred for observation in the Intensive Care Unit. None of the patients required surgical intervention. Conclusion The routine use of CT in asymptomatic pediatric patients with a suspicious mechanism of blunt trauma injury is not justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-699
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

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