CME: Chest CT & Blunt Trauma Cases

CME: Chest CT & Blunt Trauma Cases

According to published research, the use of CT when evaluating adults with blunt trauma injuries has risen dramatically in the past 2 decades. CT can provide clinicians with information about internal injuries, and many trauma centers routinely examine victims of major trauma using head-to-pelvis CT. However, chest CTs do not always provide much additional information if they are completed after a normal chest x-ray. “Chest CTs can expose patients to significant radiation doses that may increase their risk of cancer,” says Robert M. Rodriguez. “Costs associated with chest CT are also high for patients, with a single chest CT scan costing as much as $3,800. In addition, performing these scans can consume large amounts of time for both physicians and patients.”   Developing Helpful Instruments Considering the potential risks, efforts are needed to reduce the costs and radiation risks of unnecessary blunt trauma imaging. In a study published in PLOS Medicine, Dr. Rodriguez and colleagues sought to derive and validate clinical decision instruments that identify patients with blunt trauma injuries and can therefore help guide the ordering of chest CT. “The purpose of these decision instruments is to empower clinicians to determine when they can safely forego CTs in patients with blunt injuries based on simple, clinical criteria,” Dr. Rodriguez says. The investigators enrolled 11,477 patients in total, with 6,002 patients in the derivation phase and 5,475 patients in the validation phase. As part of the study, a panel of expert ED physicians and trauma surgeons defined major and minor blunt trauma injuries that were detectable with chest CT. Major injuries included aortic injuries, ruptured diaphragms, collapsed lungs, blood...
Chest CT & Blunt Trauma Cases

Chest CT & Blunt Trauma Cases

According to published research, the use of CT when evaluating adults with blunt trauma injuries has risen dramatically in the past 2 decades. CT can provide clinicians with information about internal injuries, and many trauma centers routinely examine victims of major trauma using head-to-pelvis CT. However, chest CTs do not always provide much additional information if they are completed after a normal chest x-ray. “Chest CTs can expose patients to significant radiation doses that may increase their risk of cancer,” says Robert M. Rodriguez. “Costs associated with chest CT are also high for patients, with a single chest CT scan costing as much as $3,800. In addition, performing these scans can consume large amounts of time for both physicians and patients.”   Developing Helpful Instruments Considering the potential risks, efforts are needed to reduce the costs and radiation risks of unnecessary blunt trauma imaging. In a study published in PLOS Medicine, Dr. Rodriguez and colleagues sought to derive and validate clinical decision instruments that identify patients with blunt trauma injuries and can therefore help guide the ordering of chest CT. “The purpose of these decision instruments is to empower clinicians to determine when they can safely forego CTs in patients with blunt injuries based on simple, clinical criteria,” Dr. Rodriguez says. The investigators enrolled 11,477 patients in total, with 6,002 patients in the derivation phase and 5,475 patients in the validation phase. As part of the study, a panel of expert ED physicians and trauma surgeons defined major and minor blunt trauma injuries that were detectable with chest CT. Major injuries included aortic injuries, ruptured diaphragms, collapsed lungs, blood...