Neurological status in paediatric upper limb injuries in the emergency department--current practice

James S Robertson, Andrew G Marsh, James S Huntley

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In upper limb injuries it is important to assess associated neurological injury. The aim of this study was to assess the initial (Emergency Department (ED)) documentation of neurological status in paediatric patients presenting with upper limb injuries.
Case notes of paediatric patients admitted to the orthopaedic ward with upper limb injuries were retrospectively collected over a three month period. Initial ED documentation was recorded and case notes examined for any neurological deficit on admission. Of the 121 patients, 107 (88.4%) of case notes had some form of neurological documentation. The remaining case notes (n = 14, 11.6%) had no mention of neurological examination. There were 10 (8.2%) patients with pre-operative neurological deficits identified; none of these had been previously identified by the ED.
There are failings of neurological documentation on the part of ED staff. It is likely that these reflect a knowledge deficit in the examination of the injured upper limb in paediatric patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number324
JournalBMC Research Notes
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • trauma
  • Paediatric injury
  • Paediatric emergency medicine
  • clinical assessment
  • Musculoskeletal


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