How many times have your baby fell from the bed and bumped his head? You get all kinds of advice from people around you on what to do. Your doctor would have said that if the baby vomits, then you should take a CT scan, right? Watch this video and learn in what all situations should you be worried? The guest in this video is Dr. Rajeev Rajasekharan, a Neurosurgeon from Cochin, Kerala.
When should you be worried?
- If the child vomits immediately after the fall.
- Need to conduct a CT Scan if the child is unconscious for 5 minutes or has trouble remembering
- If the child falls from a great height/ had a vehicular accident etc which may lead to a suspicious head injury, swollen eyes or ears, fluid coming out of the nose, bleeding in the ear then a CT scan needs to be conducted.
- Need to see a Neurologist if the child vomits within 1 hour after the fall. No need to see or conduct tests if there’s vomiting after 8 hours.
CT vs MRI
If your child is an infant look out for who are breastfeeding, increased sleepiness, lack of response to physical stimuli, seizures and immediate vomiting after the fall. If these signs are present, it would be better to rule-out intra-cranial bleeding.
Computed tomography or CT scan allows doctors to see inside your body. It uses a combination of X-rays and a computer to create pictures of your organs, bones, and other tissues. It shows more detail than a regular X-ray. Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer to make detailed pictures inside your body.
CT scans and MRIs are both used to capture images within your body. The biggest difference between MRI and CT scan is that MRIs use radio waves and CT scans use X-rays. It is due to the same reason that CT scans are much more harmful to the human body when compared to MRI scans. A typical CT scan may take more than 100 X-Rays in order to get the detailed picture of the organs and as you all know, exposing yourself to multiple X-Rays is definitely not recommended unless otherwise advised by your doctor. In the case of children, brain development is happening at the fastest rate from birth to 5 years and exposure to unwanted CT scans should be avoided unless otherwise indicated.
So this is why you should think twice before taking your child for a CT scan for a trivial head injury. Consult your doctor first and then get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon or another paediatrician on Dofody before making such decisions.
This video is a part of a series of video interviews with a neurosurgeon. You can find the remaining here
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