Diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage: a survey of Australasian emergency physicians and trainees

Rogers, Andrew, Furyk, Jeremy, Banks, Colin, and Chu, Kevin (2014) Diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage: a survey of Australasian emergency physicians and trainees. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 26 (5). pp. 468-473.

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Abstract

Objective: this study aims to establish current practice among Australasian emergency physicians and trainees on several aspects of the investigation of suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH).

Methods: an electronic questionnaire (SurveyMonkeyTM) was distributed to emergency physicians and trainees by email through the ACEM. Survey recipients were asked about demographics, followed by a series of questions relating to the investigation of SAH.

Results: there were 878 survey respondents (response rate 24%). Our data showed that 47.3% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that a CT brain within 6 h of headache onset is sufficient to exclude a diagnosis of SAH. For a CT performed within 12 h of ictus, 14.4% were satisfied that SAH could be excluded. After a negative CT scan, for further investigation of SAH, 88% of respondents preferred lumbar puncture to CT angiography. For detection of xanthochromia in the cerebrospinal fluid, 57.7% of respondents felt that spectrophotometry (vs visual inspection) is necessary to accurately diagnose SAH.

Conclusions: a range of information was collected regarding the investigation of suspected SAH. We report significant differences in the diagnostic approach of Australasian emergency physicians and trainees to this condition, in particular the utility of CT within 6 h for exclusion of SAH.

Item ID: 37832
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-6723
Keywords: computed tomography, headache, subarachnoid haemorrhage, xanthochromia
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2015 22:56
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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