PECARN head trauma rule

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Rule

This rule was derived from the multicenter PECARN network with both a derivation and validation arm to detect clinically important traumatic brain (ciTBI) injury in children to age 18yrs old after blunt head trauma.

The rule stratifies patients < 2 years old and ≥2 years old.

<2 years old

PECARN Under Age 2

Any 1 of the following?

Then obtain a Non-Con Brain CT (4.4% risk of cTBI)

1 or more of the following?

  • Non-frontal scalp hematoma
  • LOC ≥ 5 seconds
  • Severe injury mechanism
    • pedestrian or bicyclist without helmet struck by motorized vehicle
    • fall >1m or 3ft
    • head struck by high-impact object
  • Abnormal activity per parents

Then consider a Non-Con Brain CT or Observation (0.9% risk of cTBI)

≥2 years old - 18 years

PECARN Age 2 and Up

Any 1 of the following?

Then obtain a Non-Con Brain CT (4.3% risk of cTBI)

1 or more of the following?

  • History of vomiting^
  • LOC
  • Severe injury mechanism
    • Pedestrian or bicyclist without helmet struck by motorized vehicle
    • Fall >2m or 5ft
    • Head struck by high-impact object
  • Severe headache

Then consider a Non-Con Brain CT or Observation (0.9% risk of cTBI)

^Consider observation in place of imaging in children with isolated vomiting (no other indication) as the sole risk factor (0.2% risk of cTBI)[1]

See Also

EBQ:PECARN Pediatric Head CT Rule

References

  1. Dayan PS, et al. "Association of Traumatic Brain Injuries with Vomiting in Children with Blunt Head Trauma. June 2014. Annals of EM. 63(6):657-665