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The advice for treating children’s head injuries has changed

Article image for The advice for treating children’s head injuries has changed

Every child who goes to an emergency department with a head injury should re-visit a doctor within two weeks after their initial visit, according to new national guidelines.

The new guidelines, a first for Australia, will help doctors strike the balance between giving CT scans and withholding scans due to radiation risks.

Previously, individual hospitals had guidelines, but there was no national approach.

Lead researcher from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Professor Franz Babl, says a follow-up check up will enable doctors to identify post-concussive symptoms, which occur in many mild to moderate head injuries.

“About 30 per cent of children go on to develop post-concussive symptoms if they have a concussion,” Professor Babl told Ross and Russel.

“Post-concussion symptoms … range from symptoms like headache to physical symptoms, difficulty sleeping or inability to concentrate.

“It’s better to identify children with symptoms early so that they can be assessed and that issue can be addressed.”

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