How Often Do We Miss Serious Causes of Headache and Back Pain?

How Often Do We Miss Serious Causes of Headache and Back Pain?

In patients presenting to the ED with headache or back pain, very few return with serious, missed diagnoses after the initial evaluation. Patient who are elderly, immunocompromised, or have preexisting neurologic disease were at greater risk of missing serious conditions.

Ottawa Rule for SAH

Ottawa Rule for SAH

The application of the Ottawa SAH rule in this relatively small sample of patients had a 100% sensitivity for identifying SAH in the ED but a lower 95% confidence interval of 78.2. The 100% negative predictive value, with a promising 95% CI of 98.6-100%, may have been driven by the lower prevalence of SAH in this study population compared to a previous validation study.

Guideline for Reversal of Antithrombotics in Intracranial Hemorrhage

Guideline for Reversal of Antithrombotics in Intracranial Hemorrhage

The table below summarizes the recommendations for adult patients on anti-thrombotic agents with intracranial hemorrhage (both spontaneous and traumatic). This will be focused on ED management.

Pediatric TBI Guidelines from the CDC

Pediatric TBI Guidelines from the CDC

Taking care of children with mild traumatic brain injury is not easy. This guideline states clearly, based on compiled evidence, what you should and should not do.  It’s helpful.

Which Head Injury Rule for Adults - CHIP, New Orleans, Canadian, NICE?

Which Head Injury Rule for Adults - CHIP, New Orleans, Canadian, NICE?

The CHIP rule performed better than other head injury rules in patients >16 years old in striking the balance between avoiding CT in 21% of patients while missing only 2 potential neurosurgical lesions on CT.

Scan 'Em All - Anticoagulated Minor Head Trauma

Scan 'Em All - Anticoagulated Minor Head Trauma

Incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on CT following minor head trauma in anticoagulated patients was 9%, which means we have to CT all these people.

Atraumatic Needles Drastically Reduce Post-LP Headache

Atraumatic Needles Drastically Reduce Post-LP Headache

In this large meta-analysis of 110 RCTs, the incidence of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) was only 4.2% compared to conventional LP needles at 11%; NNT = 14.  This is a game-changer.

Pediatric Head CT - Does Vomiting Matter?

Pediatric Head CT - Does Vomiting Matter?

In pediatric patients with blunt traumatic head injury, none had clinically important traumatic brain injury or significant injury on CT if the only symptom was vomiting <3 times.  It was still extremely low if isolated vomiting 3 or more times: 3/1000 for ciTBI and 6/1000 for TBI-CT.

The Next PECARN Rule? - NEXUS II CT Rule for Kids

The Next PECARN Rule? - NEXUS II CT Rule for Kids

The NEXUS II Pediatric Head CT Decision Instrument was 100% sensitive for ruling out children with a neurosurgical outcome, but it was relatively small and had wide confidence intervals.  I don't think this will supplant PECARN.

Value of "Red Flag" Questions for Back Pain

Value of "Red Flag" Questions for Back Pain

Positive responses to "red flag" screening questions for back pain warranted further investigation, though the positive predictive value was poor.  Negative responses to screening "red flag" questions were useless as a screening tool for ruling out serious disease, such as fracture, infection, malignancy, or cauda equina.

ICH in NOAC vs Warfarin and Mortality

ICH in NOAC vs Warfarin and Mortality

Among patients with ICH, those on non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants had a lower in-hospital risk of mortality compared to warfarin (26.5% vs 32.6%). Compared to warfarin, those on NOACs were more likely to be discharged home (+3.3%), be functionally independent (+2.5%), and have the ability to ambulate independently at discharge (+1.8%).

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