Head CT frequency, costs drop for kids after rule change

AuntMinnie.com | October 6 – For children with traumatic brian injuries potentially serious enough to warrant a head CT scan, a small change in the clinical guidelines used to perform follow-up head CT led to a significant drop in rescan rates and costs – all without any apparent increase in the risk of serious injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children accounts for more than $1 billion annually in healthcare costs in the U.S. In the absence of clear guidelines regarding the use of CT imaging, many children with these injuries may be exposed to excessive radiation doses, according to principal investigator Richard Falcone, MD, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues.

The retrospective study, presented on Sunday at the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) meeting in San Francisco, was made possible by a rule change implemented in July 2008 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that allowed clinicians to forgo a second follow-up head CT scan in children with injuries rated 13-15 (mild) on the Glasgow come scale.

Read more about the study on AuntMinnie.com.

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