AMRF contributes to world class research comparing best emergency practice for child head injuries

  • 18 Apr 2017

As part of the larger Australasian network PREDICT (Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative), Dr Jocelyn Neutze from Kidzfirst, Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, has had her Auckland Medical Research Foundation (AMRF)-funded research published in The Lancet, one of the leading journals in the field of medicine.

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The research article titled ‘Accuracy of PECARN, CATCH, and CHALICE head injury decision rules in children: a prospective cohort study’ compared three clinical decision rules for head injuries in children. Dr Neutze summarises the study for the AMRF:

Clinical decision rules can assist in determining the use of computed tomography (CT) to scan the brain in children with head injuries. Three widely used high quality rules from the United States (PECARN), from Canada (CATCH) and from the United Kingdom (CHALICE) have not been compared for accuracy in a large sample and it is not clear which rule, if any, should be used in Australasian Emergency Departments. With the support of the Auckland Medical Research Foundation the PREDICT (Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative) network undertook a prospective observational study of 20,000 children with head injuries of all severities at 10 Emergency Departments in Australia and New Zealand to assess the accuracy of the rules in the local setting. The key findings were that all three overseas rules were very accurate but that the PECARN rule did not miss a single patient requiring neurosurgery. These findings have implications for their wider implementation in Australasian Emergency Departments.

The link to the abstract and article details can be found at

The complete study was collaboratively funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Emergency Medicine Foundation, Perpetual Philanthropic Services, WA Health Targeted Research Funds, Townsville Hospital Private Practice Fund, Auckland Medical Research Foundation (funding for the two New Zealand sites of this study, Kidz First Children’s Hospital and Starship Children’s Hospital), A + Trust.

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