Routine early CT-scan is cost saving after minor head injury

Acta Neurol Scand. 1996 Feb-Mar;93(2-3):207-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1996.tb00201.x.


Significant hospital resources are invested in early detection of intracranial complications after minor head injuries (MHI). This study focuses on economic aspects of MHI management. 88 MHI patients underwent routine early CT-scan and at least 24 h in-hospital observation. The cost of this management was calculated, and compared to estimated costs of three alternative management protocols. CT-scans demonstrated intracranial lesions in eight (9%) patients, but none required neurosurgical intervention. The expense of our management was Norwegian Kroner (NOK) 576,136. An alternative management protocol including routing early CT-scan and discharge of patients with normal CT-findings, Glasgow coma score > or = 14 and no neurological deficits, was found to be safe, and estimated to reduce costs with 43% to NOK 326,669. It is concluded that routine early CT-scan is the most reliable and cost saving management procedure after MHI.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Edema / economics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost Savings
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head Injuries, Closed / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head Injuries, Closed / economics
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / economics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / economics
  • Skull Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Skull Fractures / economics
  • Sweden
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / economics*