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Assessment of Head injuries in children

Perform a primary survey and ensure that the child’s airway, cervical spine, breathing and circulation are secure.

Rapidly assess the child’s mental state using the AVPU scale. Use firm supraorbital pressure as the painful stimulus.

* A Alert
* V Responds to voice
* P Responds to pain
----> Purposefully
----> Non-purposefully :
  •  Withdrawal/flexor response
  •  Extensor response
* U Unresponsive
Assess pupil size, equality and reactivity and look for other focal neurological signs.
Perform a secondary survey looking specifically at:

* Neck and cervical spine – deformity, tenderness, muscle spasm
* Head – scalp bruising, lacerations, swelling, tenderness, bruising behind the ear (Battles sign)
* Eyes – pupil size, equality and reactivity, fundoscopy
* Ears – blood behind the ear drum, CSF leak
* Nose – deformity, swelling, bleeding, CSF leak
* Mouth –dental trauma, soft tissue injuries
* Facial fractures
* Motor function – examine limbs for presence of reflexes and any lateralising weakness
* Perform a formal Glasgow Coma Score
* Consider the possibility of non-accidental injury during secondary survey especially in infants with head injury.
* Other injuries

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