A recent study conducted by the UC Davis school of Medicine has identified seven factors to lessen radiation exposure in young victims of abdominal trauma. The study encompassed more than 12,000 children throughout the country in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) and will be published in the upcoming issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
The study involved children arriving within the networks emergency departments following blunt trauma to their torsos such as may have been sustained in bicycle accdents, falls, or assaults. A number of clinical factors were studied, and seven were identified as correlating with risk for involving a clinically important injury. Among the seven factors were evidence of trauma on the abdomen or chest (such as seat-belt marks), neurological changes, abdominal pain or tenderness, abnormal breath sounds and vomiting.
It was found that children who presented with none of these factors present had only a 0.1 percent chance of having an abdominal injury that required acute intervention. In the majority of these cases a CT scan would not likely have presented any significant clinical information.
source: UC Davis School of Medicine