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Computerised tomography and acute traumatic head injury: time for change?
  1. J Cranshaw,
  2. G Hughes,
  3. M Clancy
  1. Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Bristol Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom.


    The aim was to reconsider the "Guidelines for initial management of head injury in adults"--particularly with respect to the indications for computerised tomographic (CT) scanning--suggested by "a group of neurosurgeons" over a decade ago and still followed in some accident and emergency (A&E) departments. These recommendations are placed in the context of more recent research and the increased number of A&E departments with on-site rapid access to a CT scanner but without a resident neurosurgical facility. A case can be made for an updated policy with more liberal indications for CT scanning of acutely head injured adults in peripheral A&E departments. However, calculating the cost-efficiency of more frequent use of what is now a common but relatively expensive resource would remain a challenge.

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