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Identifying Aneurysms Risk in Headache Patients With a New Tool

1 week, 3 days ago

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Posted on Nov 30, 2017, 9 a.m.

There is a new tool that should help emergency departments find high risk patients helping to identify potentially fatal aneurysms in patients with headaches

New research published in Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that there is a new tool that should help emergency departments find high risk patients helping to identify potentially fatal aneurysms in patients with headaches, and improve survival rates while cutting out unnecessary imaging.

A bleeding brain aneurysm may cause a sudden headache, and is very deadly. Close to half of the patients with this condition die, 2 out of 5 survivors will have neurological deficits as a result permanently. If patients are diagnosed while alert with only a headache they have better outcomes, but it’s difficult to diagnose as patients often look relatively well. According to Dr. Jeffrey Perry Ottawa Hospital emergency physician and University of Ottawa.

Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital created The Ottawa Rules and The Ottawa Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rule. These are decision tools that are used around the world in E.R departments to identify knee, ankle and spine fractures.

New research including 6 hospitals over 4 years involving 1153 alert patients admitted with sudden acute headaches from January 2010 - 14 confirms and validates previous research published that proposes the Ottawa Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rule. This newly validated rule will give physicians a reliable tool to help in identifying those high risk patients without having imaging which is time consuming. Perry says he is hopeful this life saving tool will be adapted in emergency room world wide.

Materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jeffrey J. Perry, Marco L.A. Sivilotti, Jane Sutherland, Corinne M. Hohl, Marcel Émond, Lisa A. Calder, Christian Vaillancourt, Venkatesh Thirganasambandamoorthy, Howard Lesiuk, George A. Wells, Ian G. Stiell. Validation of the Ottawa Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Rule in patients with acute headache. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2017; 189 (45): E1379 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.170072

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