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Table 1 Characteristics of patients presenting with head trauma pre- and post-PECARN rules implementation

From: Does implementation of the PECARN rules for minor head trauma improve patient-centered outcomes in a lower resource emergency department: a retrospective cohort study

Variables Pre-PECARN
(N = 425)
Post-PECARN
(N = 937)
p-value
Age, in years, mean (±SD) 4.75 (± 4.67) 4.42 (± 4.44) 0.21
Age, in years, n (%)
  < 2 135 (31.8) 309 (33.0) 0.66
  ≥ 2 290 (68.2) 628 (67.0)
Male, mean (±SD) 254 (59.8) 534 (57.0) 0.34
Severe mechanism of injurya, n (%) 16 (3.8) 35 (3.7) 0.98
Symptoms, n (%)
 Dizziness 26 (6.1) 54 (5.8) 0.8
 Vertigo 2 (0.5) 0 (0.0) 0.04
 Amnesia 11 (2.6) 18 (1.9) 0.43
 Nausea 15 (3.5) 27 (2.9) 0.52
 Vomiting 68 (16.0) 136 (14.5) 0.48
 Seizure 4 (0.9) 8 (0.9) 0.87
 Vision changes 3 (0.7) 13 (1.4) 0.3
 Altered mental statusb 34 (8.0) 39 (4.2) 0.004
 Severe headache 9 (2.1) 19 (2.0) 0.91
 LOC 20 (4.7) 39 (4.2) 0.65
 LOC > 5 s 17 (4.0) 20 (2.1) 0.05
Physical Exam findings, n (%)
 Scalp Occipital/Parietal/Temporal Hematoma 19 (4.5) 44 (4.7) 0.86
 Palpable skull fracture 0 (0.0) 1 (0.1) 0.5
 Signs of basilar skull fracturec 1 (0.2) 1 (0.1) 0.57
 Not acting normally as per parent 9 (2.1) 36 (3.8) 0.1
 Altered mental status 17 (4.0) 38 (4.1) 0.96
 GCS 14 2 (0.5) 2 (0.2) 0.7
GCS 15 417 (98.1) 920 (98.2)
Risk Stratification, n (%)
Low Risk 338 (79.5) 752 (80.3) 0.94
  < 2 116 (34.3) 264 (35.1) 0.8
  ≥ 2 222 (65.7) 488 (64.9)
Intermediate Risk 69 (16.2) 145 (15.5) 0.94
  < 2 13 (18.8) 29 (20.0) 0.84
  ≥ 2 56 (81.2) 116 (80.0)
High Risk 18 (4.2) 40 (4.2) 0.94
  < 2 6 (33.3) 16 (40.0) 0.63
  ≥ 2 12 (66.7) 24 (60.0)
  1. aSevere mechanism of injury: motor vehicle crash with patient ejection, death of another passenger, or rollover; pedestrian or bicyclist without helmet struck by a motorized vehicle; falls of more than 0.9 m (if < 2 years of age) or more than 1.5 m (if more than 2 years of age); or head struck by a high-impact object
  2. bAltered mental status: agitation, somnolence, repetitive questioning, or slow response to verbal communication [4]
  3. cSigns of basilar skull fracture included the battle’s sign, racoon eyes, hemotympanum, cerebral spinal fluid otorrhea, or cerebral spinal fluid rhinorrhea [4]