Author(s): Leidel B A, Bogner V, Lindner T, Wolf S, Steinbeck A
Mild head injuries are one of the most frequent reasons for attending emergency departments and are particularly challenging in different ways. While clinically important injuries are infrequent, delayed or missed injuries may lead to fatal consequences. The initial mostly inconspicuous appearance may not reflect the degree of intracranial injury and computed tomography (CT) is necessary to rule out covert injuries. Furthermore, infants and young children with a lack of or rudimentary cognitive and language development are challenging, especially for those examiners not familiar with pediatric care. Established check lists of clinical risk factors for children and adults regarding traumatic brain injuries allow specific and rational decision-making for cranial CT imaging. Clinically important intracranial injuries can be reliably detected and unnecessary radiation exposure avoided at the same time.