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New guidelines proposed to determine when children with brain injuries require CT scans

New guidelines have been proposed to provide guidance to physicians in determining when children who have been subjected to head trauma require a CT scan.

The guidelines -- dubbed the CATCH rules (Canadian Assessment of Tomography for Childhood Injury) – look for seven key signs that a head injury may be serious. They include:

  • an open or depressed skull fracture
  • a headache that worsens over time
  • disorientation that lasts longer than two hours
  • a dangerous cause of injury, such as a car crash
  • a large, spongy bump on the scalp

These new guidelines are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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