A concise, evidence-based medical tool that saves you money


Should my child get head CT or MRI after a concussion or mild trauma to the head, no loss of consciousness, no seizure, and no vomiting more than once?


MedHead Confidence Score: 8
Amount Saved: $3000 ER visit, $1500 CT scan cost post


MedHead Message:

If your child has fallen less than 3 feet on their head, are acting normally or only mildly irritable, without more than one episode of vomiting, no seizure and no sign of skull/head abnormalities, they should not have a CT scan. The amount of radiation from a CT scan on a young child. Far too many CT scans are done on young children without merit. This drives up the cost of your healthcare and increases your child’s risk for cancer later in life. However, if they are lethargic and getting more so, or have vomited multiple times, and are not improving, they should go to ER to be evaluated. The vast majority of pediatric head trauma cases that go to the ER are sent home without treatment.


1. https://www.mdcalc.com/pecarn-pediatric-head-injury-trauma-algorithm 2. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/minor-head-trauma-in-infants-and-children-evaluation#H1237555 3. http://www.choosingwisely.org/clinician-lists/american-medical-society-sports-medicine-brain-ct-or-mri-to-evaluate-acute-concussion/


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