CT Use Up for Children With Abdominal Pain Seen in ER

From 1998-2008, no change in ultrasound/X-ray use, appendicitis diagnosis, hospital admission

MONDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- For children presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain, there was a dramatic increase in computed tomography (CT) use from 1998 to 2008, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Pediatrics.

Jahan Fahimi, M.D., M.P.H., from Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues examined trends in and factors associated with CT use among children presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain. Data were analyzed from emergency department patients under the age of 19 years with abdominal pain participating in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 1998 to 2008. Patient demographic and hospital characteristics and outcomes related to imaging, hospital admission, and diagnosis of appendicitis were assessed.

The researchers found that 6.0 percent of all pediatric emergency department visits were for abdominal pain. From 1998 to 2008 there was a significant rise in the proportion of these patients with CT use, from 0.9 to 15.4 percent, with no change noted during that period in ultrasound/radiograph use, diagnosis of appendicitis, or hospital admission. Black children were significantly less likely to undergo a CT scan compared with white children (odds ratio, 0.50), whereas older and male patients were more likely to have a CT scan. Children who were admitted had much higher odds of undergoing a CT scan (odds ratio, 4.11). From 2006 to 2008 there was a plateau in CT use.

"Although these results suggest that emergency providers increasingly rely on this testing modality, neither the reason for, nor the benefits of, this trend is clear," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events