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Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Aug;36(8):1463-1466. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.05.018. Epub 2018 May 18.

Utilization of head CT during injury visits to United States emergency departments: 2012-2015.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Center for Research in Emergency Department Operations (CREDO), Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: byun@mgh.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Center for Research in Emergency Department Operations (CREDO), Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Studies have shown increasing utilization of head computed tomography (CT) imaging of emergency department (ED) patients presenting with an injury-related visit. Multiple initiatives, including the Choosing Wisely™ campaign and evidence-based clinical decision support based on validated decision rules, have targeted head CT use in patients with injuries. Therefore, we investigated national trends in the use of head CT during injury-related ED visits from 2012 to 2015.

METHODS:

This was a secondary analysis of data from the annual United States (U.S.) National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2012 to 2015. The study population was defined as injury-related ED visits, and we sought to determine the percentage in which a head CT was ordered and, secondarily, to determine both the diagnostic yield of clinically significant intracranial findings and hospital characteristics associated with increased head CT utilization.

RESULTS:

Between 2012 and 2015, 12.25% (95% confidence interval [CI] 11.48-13.02%) of injury-related visits received at least one head CT. Overall head CT utilization showed an increased trend during the study period (2012: 11.7%, 2015: 13.23%, p = 0.09), but the results were not statistically significant. The diagnostic yield of head CT for a significant intracranial injury over the period of four years was 7.4% (9.68% in 2012 vs. 7.67% in 2015, p = 0.23).

CONCLUSIONS:

Head CT use along with diagnostic yield has remained stable from 2012 to 2015 among patients presenting to the ED for an injury-related visit.

KEYWORDS:

Brain concussion; CT scan; Head trauma; Intracranial hemorrhages; Neurosurgery; Traumatic brain hemorrhage; Traumatic brain injuries; Traumatic cerebral hemorrhage; Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage; Traumatic subdural hematoma

PMID:
29779675
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajem.2018.05.018

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