By Eric Barnes, staff writer
November 11, 2010

Sunday, November 28 | 11:05 a.m.-11:15 a.m. | SSA05-03 | Room N227
Blunt trauma patients admitted to emergency departments are routinely scanned with CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. But are all those scans really necessary in the absence of serious signs of injury? No, say Noam Millo, MD, and colleagues from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

In their study, 71 hemodynamically stable patients (mean age, 36 years) presented to the University of Alberta Hospital with motorized blunt force trauma. Accidents involved vehicles ranging from motorcycles to snowmobiles to cars and all-terrain vehicles. All patients were scanned with CT of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen after being checked at physical exam for tenderness or bruising in these regions.

The research team counted five fractured ribs, two small pneumothoraces not requiring chest tubes, two pulmonary contusions, and two process fractures. Another patient had a small liver laceration.

But none had an injury requiring immediate treatment, and the radiologists concluded that CT was unlikely to detect injuries requiring intervention in stable patients who had suffered motorized vehicle trauma accidents.

Last Updated np 11/8/2010 3:05:04 PM

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