Clinical Policy: Critical Issues in the Management of Adult Patients Presenting to the Emergency Department With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Approved by ACEP Board of Directors, February 1, 2023 Clinical Policy Endorsed by the Emergency Nurses Association (April 5, 2023)

Ann Emerg Med. 2023 May;81(5):e63-e105. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2023.01.014.


This 2023 Clinical Policy from the American College of Emergency Physicians is an update of the 2008 “Clinical Policy: Neuroimaging and Decisionmaking in Adult Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Acute Setting.” A writing subcommittee conducted a systematic review of the literature to derive evidence-based recommendations to answer the following questions: 1) In the adult emergency department patient presenting with minor head injury, are there clinical decision tools to identify patients who do not require a head computed tomography? 2) In the adult emergency department patient presenting with minor head injury, a normal baseline neurologic examination, and taking an anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication, is discharge safe after a single head computed tomography? and 3) In the adult emergency department patient diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion, are there clinical decision tools or factors to identify patients requiring follow-up care for postconcussive syndrome or to identify patients with delayed sequelae after emergency department discharge? Evidence was graded and recommendations were made based on the strength of the available data. Widespread and consistent implementation of evidence-based clinical recommendations is warranted to improve patient care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion*
  • Brain Injuries*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Nurses*
  • Policy