Brain Hemorrhage Diagnosis Delay Rare in Children

Large Canadian study finds few delayed diagnoses in patients with minor head injuries
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- In children with uncomplicated minor head injuries, delayed diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage is rare, according to research published online June 21 in Pediatrics.

Mark Hamilton, M.D., of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues studied data on 17,962 children evaluated for uncomplicated minor head injuries in emergency departments between 1992 and 2000 to determine the incidence of delayed intracranial hemorrhage diagnosis (defined as not apparent until at least six hours after the injury).

The researchers found two children with delayed intracranial hemorrhage diagnoses with delayed consciousness deterioration, and eight with intracranial hemorrhage diagnoses delays and no delayed consciousness deterioration. Based on population data for the Calgary Health Region, out of 100,000 children per year, there were 0.14 and 0.57 cases of delayed intracranial hemorrhage with and without consciousness deterioration, respectively.

"The occurrence of delayed diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage among children who present with uncomplicated minor head injuries is rare," the authors conclude.

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