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Computed tomography and the exclusion of upper cervical spine injury in trauma patients with altered mental state
  1. Martin Thomas, Specialist Registrar,
  2. Stewart Teece,, Clinical Research,
  3. K Mackway-Jones
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; kevin.mackway-jones{at}


    A short cut review was carried out to establish whether CT scans of the upper cervical spine are necessary in trauma patients with altered mental status and normal plain radiographs. A total of 572 papers were found using the reported search, of which six presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results, and study weaknesses of these best papers are tabulated. A clinical bottom line is stated.

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