In a review of the records of 874 head-injured patients who had an echoencephalogram in the Accident and Emergency Department, two patients with apparently 'minor' head injury subsequently developed an extradural haematoma. Both would have been diagnosed earlier if the results of the echoencephalogram had been used to influence their referral to the nearest neurosurgical department before the onset of any neurological deterioration. For those patients who arrive in the Department in coma, failure to detect any midline shift should not delay urgent referral for a CT scan. Such patients may be harbouring either bilateral haematomas or a very large single haematoma causing more than the 14-mm maximum shift recordable by the equipment.
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