Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common diagnosis in the emergency department. Brain computed tomography (CT) has become a standard diagnostic tool with which to examine TBI patients. Conventional X-rays are ineffective for the evaluation of torso or extremity injuries. In the current study, we attempted to establish a diagnostic modality to evaluate systemically initially unconscious patients in the emergency department with a rapid screening technique characterized by sufficient information, low cost and low radiation exposure. Materials and methods: From January 2008 to December 2009, patients with diminished level of consciousness received the Lodox/Statscan for evaluation of extracranial injuries were enrolled in this study. The accuracy of this diagnostic modality in detecting torso or extremity injuries in initially unconscious patients was analyzed by comparing the initial diagnosis (by the Lodox/Statscan) with the final diagnosis (confirmed by torso CT scan or after two weeks of follow-up). Results: There were 1,210 patients with TBI whose extracranial injuries were evaluated by the Lodox/Statscan. After excluding intra-abdominal injuries, the overall sensitivity rates of the Lodox/Statscan in diagnosing torso injuries and extremity injuries were 89.7% and 90.2%, respectively. No long bone fracture was missed by the Lodox/Statscan. The sensitivity and specificity of the Lodox/Statscan in diagnosing long bone fractures were both 100%. Most patients with torso injuries that were missed by the Lodox/Statscan could be managed conservatively without further treatment or complications. All of the missed extremity injuries were distal bone fractures. Conclusion: The Lodox/Statscan can provide benefits for surveying extracranial injuries in patients with diminished level of consciousness. The Lodox/Statscan also emits a notably low dose of radiation and appears to be a relatively inexpensive adjunct to screen torso or extremity injuries in TBI patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Emergency Medicine