I thought this was interesting since many of our readers have trauma patients
In children with blunt trauma, emergent use of whole-body computed tomography doesn’t offer a survival advantage over selective CT, suggests a JAMA Pediatrics study.
Using a national injury database, U.S. researchers retrospectively identified nearly 43,000 children aged 6 months to 14 years who underwent at least one CT scan within 2 hours of presenting to the ED with blunt trauma. Twenty percent had whole-body CT (scans of the head, chest, and abdomen/pelvis), while the remainder had selective CT (i.e., did not receive all 3 scans).
Some 0.9% of the children died within 1 week. In an analysis that accounted for greater injury severity in the whole-body CT group, the mortality risk did not differ significantly between groups.
The researchers write, “Although [whole-body CT] may provide more information about the injured child, that information does not appear to be lifesaving. With growing concerns regarding excessive radiation exposure for injured children, physicians should attempt to limit CT exposure whenever possible.”