Hospitalization policy following minor head injuries

Z. Burg, Y. Uziel, A. Dinbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Of 44 patients admitted with head injuries during 1980-84, 316 (72%) arrived fully conscious with normal neurological status and no X-ray evidence of skull fracture. These cases were admitted for observation, but in none was there any untoward development. On analysis of the cases that developed complications and in the light of the literature, we conclude that it is possible to define a group at low risk for developing complications following head injury. These patients could safely be discharged from the emergency room without admission for observation. This group included 176 (40%) of those admitted and fulfilled the following criteria. They arrived fully conscious, there was no recurrent vomiting, neurological examination was normal, there was no X-ray evidence of skull fracture, and they were between 16-70 years of age. However, these cases should only be discharged from the emergency room after a physician gives oral and written instructions to a responsible adult who accompanies the patient. Such a policy would result in considerable saving of resources by reducing admissions for observation of those at low risk for developing complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-249
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1989


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