Newly Published State of the Art Review on Care of Children with Minor Blunt Head Trauma

An important new review article published in Pediatrics in November, Children with Minor Blunt Head Trauma Presenting to the Emergency Department, summarizes current evidence on the initial management of children with minor blunt head trauma. Minor blunt head trauma is a common reason for pediatric emergency department visits worldwide. While computed tomography (CT) scans are the diagnostic standard for clinically-important traumatic brain injuries (TBI), ionizing radiation exposure in children increases the risk for radiation-induced malignancies as adults. Validated TBI clinical prediction rules have worked well to safely reduce radiation exposure while identifying patients with clinically-important TBI. The authors recommend that systematic automation of the decision rules in conjunction with clinical judgement, patient observation and provided-parental dyad shared decision-making will best guide future practice in the care of these patients in all care settings.

Much of the work summarized in this article was conducted in the PECARN network over the last decade. PECARN, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network is the first federally-funded pediatric emergency medicine research network in the United States. It is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program through several grants.

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