Survey of the management of patients with minor head injuries in hospitals in Sweden

J. Bellner*, T. Ingebrigtsen, Bertil Romner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives - Development of guidelines for quality assurance in head injury care has to be based on knowledge about how today's management is organized. To address the need for guidelines in minor head injury (MHI), the authors studied management practice in Sweden. Methods - We performed a cross-sectional mail survey including all 76 hospitals treating head-injured patients. The questionnaire outlined present management practice in MHI; including routines for clinical and radiological examinations, in-hospital observation, discharge criteria and follow-up. Results - The initial evaluation is frequently performed by inexperienced physicians. The level of consciousness is assessed according to the Swedish Reaction Level Scale or the Glasgow Coma Scale in 96% of the hospitals. Routine computerized tomography is used in 40. Skull radiography is not routinely performed. Eighty percent of the hospitals discharge selected patients without in- hospital observation and most (93%) offer no routine follow-up. Conclusions - This survey shows a variation in the management of MHI in hospitals in Sweden. Routines for assessment of consciousness level are satisfactory, but CT scan for detection of skull fracture and early diagnoses of intracranial complications is usually not performed. Guidelines should be based on present routines including decision rules for CT scan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-359
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Computerized tomography
  • Guidelines
  • Head injury
  • Management
  • Quality assurance


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