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Ultrasound benefits for broken arm children
Distal forearm injury in children can be assessed by acupoint ultrasound (POCUS). This may be accurate, timely, and associated with lower levels of pain and high caregiver satisfaction.
The findings were published in the Journal of the Academic Emergency Medicine Association (AEM) and the Journal of the Academic Emergency Medicine Society.
“Ultrasonic evaluation of children with broken arms has found it to be more accurate, faster and less painful than X-rays”
The main author is Naveen Poonai, MD, MA, FRCPC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University. Dr. Poonai is internationally recognized for his work in assessing and managing acute pain in children and the role of POCUS in pediatric emergency medicine.
Managing children with suspected arm fractures has many goals. These include rapid and accurate diagnosis, do not cause more pain and limit exposure to radiation. Achieving these goals can increase the satisfaction of caregivers.
Dr. Poonai's research suggests that POCUS may be a viable alternative to X-rays in terms of diagnostic accuracy, cost-effectiveness, pain, caregiver satisfaction, and duration of surgery.
Dr. Poonai: "We conducted a cross-sectional study involving children aged 4-17 years with suspected distal forearm fractures. Our goal is to explore the performance characteristics and patient-directed outcomes of POCUS compared to X-rays. There were 76 fractures in children, of which the sensitivity of POCUS was 94.7% and the specificity was 93.5%.
Compared to X-rays, POCUS is also associated with high caregiver satisfaction and significantly lower pain scores and duration of surgery. Our results suggest that POCUS is an accurate tool for the diagnosis of distal forearm fractures in children, associated with high caregiver satisfaction and low levels of pain.