Repeat Scans Urged for Head Injury When Blood Thinners
THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- People taking blood
thinners who suffer a minor head injury should undergo repeat CT
scans, researchers say.
The new study included 87 patients taking warfarin (brand name
Coumadin) who were treated for a minor head injury at an emergency
department. Warfarin is widely prescribed to prevent blood
Twenty-four hours after having a negative result on their first
CT scan, hemorrhage lesions were seen in five of the patients on a
repeat CT scan. Three of the patients were admitted to hospital and
one underwent surgery for bleeding in the brain (subdural
Two other patients who were discharged from hospital after two
negative CT scans were later readmitted to the hospital for
treatment of symptomatic subdural hematoma, according to the study
published online Jan. 16 in the journal
Annals of Emergency Medicine.
"Our study confirms the recommendation of the European Federation of Neurological Societies," study author Dr. Vincenzo Menditto, of the Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona in Ancona, Italy, said in a journal news release.
"It recommends that all minor head injury patients on blood thinners should have an initial CT scan followed by admission for observation, followed by a second CT scan before discharge. This is important for the growing portion of the population that is 65 or older and on blood thinners," Menditto said.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has more
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