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Int Emerg Nurs. 2011 Oct;19(4):199-205. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2011.07.008. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

Pediatric neurologic exam.

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The College of Nursing, University of Colorado Denver, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, USA.


Although emergency nurses receive education and training in performing comprehensive and rapid assessment, pediatric patients may prove to be challenging due to dynamic growth, development and maturation. If the emergency department (ED) has limited exposure to pediatric patients, performing assessments and prompt interventions may be daunting. Neonates, infants and young children with illness or trauma have unique and often times subtle signs and symptoms that can change rapidly. Although the neurological exam for older children may be similar to that of an adult, there are significant differences based on maturation. The neurologic exam for neonates and infants provides the nurse with even more opportunity to be familiar with developmental differences. Therefore, it is important for ED nurses to become familiar with typical development and early recognition of neurologic insult.

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