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Fifteen-minute consultation: Imaging in paediatric major trauma
  1. Nikki Abela1,
  2. Elizabeth Herrieven2
  1. 1 RCEMLearning, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2 RCEMLearning, Royal College of Emergency Medicines, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nikki Abela, RCEMLearning, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London EC4A 1DT, UK; nikkiabela{at}


With trauma being a leading cause of death for children, identifying all sustained injuries remains a priority for clinicians, and imaging is a key diagnostic tool to ensure that is achieved. However, children have a greater risk of detrimental effects of ionising radiation than adults. Clinicians therefore have to balance limiting their patients’ radiation exposure to ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ with the need for diagnostic accuracy. But what is ‘reasonable’ in major trauma can be confusing. This article aims to clarify the current guidance on which body part to scan and when in paediatric major trauma.

  • accident & emergency
  • imaging
  • paediatric practice

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  • Contributors The primary author, NA, has written the main stem of the article and the infographics, with the second author, EH, completing the piece, reviewing, editing and adding to the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work.

  • Author note The authors are blog editors for RCEMLearning and have created a blog to complement this article on the website