Predictors for moderate to severe paediatric head injury derived from a surveillance registry in the emergency department

Predictors for moderate to severe paediatric head injury derived from a surveillance registry in the emergency department

2015 Injury

Chong, Shu-Ling | Barbier, Sylvaine | Liu, Nan | Ong, Gene Yong-Kwang | Ng, Kee Chong | Ong, Marcus Eng Hock | Volume: 46, Issue: 7, Pages: 1270-1274, Brain injuries, Traumatic brain injury, Children, Paediatrics,

Introduction and aim Head injuries are a common complaint among children presenting to the emergency department (ED). This study is part of an ongoing prospective surveillance of head injured children presenting to a paediatric ED. We aim to derive predictors for moderate to severe head injury in our population. Materials and methods We performed an unmatched case-control study. Cases were defined as those who presented to the ED with moderate to severe head injury, during the period from 2006 to 2014. Controls were obtained from the prospective surveillance head injury database and were children who presented to the ED with head injury but who remained well on follow up. We compared variables from demographics, mechanism of injury, history, and physical examination. Results There were 39 cases and 1173 controls. In the prospective database, our event rate was 0.5% and our computed tomography (CT) rate was 1%. Among those with moderate to severe head injury, they were more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents, have a history of difficult arousal, confusion or disorientation and a history of seizure. On physical examination, cases were more likely to have the presence of altered mental status, base of skull fracture, scalp hematoma and anisocoria. On multivariable analysis, the following 4 predictors remained statistically significant: Involvement in road traffic accident (p<0.001), difficult arousal (p<0.001), vomiting (p=0.003) and signs of base of skull fracture (p<0.001). Using these 4 variables, the Area under Curve was 0.97 {Sensitivity 92.3% (79.1–98.4%), Specificity 93.0% (91.4–94.4%), positive predictive value 30.5% (22–40%), negative predictive value 99.7% (99.2–99.9%)}. Conclusion Involvement in road traffic accident, difficult arousal, base of skull fracture and vomiting are independent predictors for moderate to severe head injury in our paediatric population.

https://www.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2015.04.002