Imaging in Blunt Trauma, Questions

1. How do you decide which patients with abdominal trauma need a CT?

2. Do you order chest CTs on stable patients with focal chest wall tenderness and a normal AP chest X-ray?

3. Do you pan scan in stable patients?  If so, when and why?

4. Do you have clinical situations in which a negative FAST exam precludes the need for a CT?



Imaging in Blunt Trauma Questions Poster

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1 Response to Imaging in Blunt Trauma, Questions

  1. Doug Franzen says:

    It all depends in the pt meets our trauma alert criteria… if trauma alert, pan scan is the norm, no matter how stable….

    HOWEVER, our trauma surgeons are somewhat enlightened and if
    1) hemodynamically stable
    2) clear sensorium (no head injury, no intoxicants)
    3) nontender belly
    4) negative FAST
    then they don’t get a CT. They can go to obs unit & get a repeat exam & FAST. If they still meet all of the above criteria, they go home with no CT.

    Sadly, this is only a small percentage of our trauma patients (mostly due to #2)

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