Presentations to an acute medical unit due to headache: a review of 306 consecutive cases.
Acute Med. 2012;11(3):144-9
Authors: Knox J, Chuni C, Naqvi Z, Crawford P, Waring W
The United Kingdom National Health Service has recently prioritised the need for ambulatory care pathways for acute headache. The present study sought to better characterise patients referred to an Acute Medical Unit so as to inform pathway development. In 2011, York Hospital received 306 referrals due to acute headache, representing 3% of acute medical admissions. Investigations included CT scan (38%), lumbar puncture (38%), and MRI (18%); there were no specialised investigations in 26%, and 18% of patients were discharged on the day of presentation. Subarachnoid haemorrhage occurred in only 4 patients (1%), meningitis in 10 (3%), and intracranial tumour in 5 (2%). The findings indicate that a significant proportion of patients with acute headache could be managed by ambulatory care.
PMID: 22993744 [PubMed - in process]