Background: We implemented expanded screening criteria for blunt cerebrovascular injuries (BCVIs) in an attempt to capture the remaining 20% of patients not historically identified with earlier protocols. We hypothesized that these expanded criteria would capture the additional 20% of BCVI patients not previously identified.
Methods: Screening criteria for BCVI were expanded in 2011 after identifying new injury patterns. The study population included 4 years prior (2007 to 2010; classic) and following (2011 to 2014; expanded) implementation of expanded criteria.
Results: BCVIs were identified in 386 patients: 150 during the classic period (2.36% incidence) and 236 in the expanded period (2.99% incidence). In the expanded period, 155 patients were imaged based on classic screening criteria, 62 on expanded criteria (21 complex skull fractures, 20 upper rib fractures, 6 mandible fractures, 2 scalp degloving, 1 great vessel injury, and 12 combination), and 19 for other injuries and symptoms.
Conclusions: There was a significant increase in the identification of BCVI following the adoption of expanded screening criteria, resulting in a substantial reduction of missed injuries. Expanded criteria should be adopted when screening for BCVI.
Keywords: Blunt cerebrovascular injuries; Carotid artery injury; Screening criteria; Stroke; Traumatic vascular injury; Vertebral artery injury.
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