-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic children
in the United States are less likely than white children to receive
a CT scan after they suffer a minor head injury, a new study
Researchers examined the cases of nearly 40,000 children with
head injuries treated at 25 pediatric emergency care trauma centers
and found about 35 percent of them underwent a cranial CT scan.
There were no significant race/ethnicity-related differences in
the likelihood that a child deemed at high risk for a traumatic
brain injury would receive a CT scan, but low-risk white children
were more likely to receive a CT scan than low-risk black or
The study was slated to be presented Oct. 14 at an American
Academy of Pediatrics meeting in Boston.
"Our study demonstrates that among children with minor head trauma, but at low risk for clinically important brain injury, white children received cranial CT scans more frequently than black or Hispanic children," Dr. Alexander Rogers said in an academy news release. "In this low-risk population, higher rates of cranial CT may represent overuse in white children, leading to increased radiation exposure and health care costs."
A number of factors likely contribute to this racial/ethnic
disparity, but the study "highlights the importance of strong,
evidence-based guidelines to assure equal and optimal care," Rogers
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The Nemours Foundation has more about
children and head injuries.
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