Introduction International guidelines define if and what type of radiography is advised in children to clear the cervical spine (C-spine). However, adherence to these guidelines has never been evaluated in a paediatric population. Therefore, we wanted to assess the adherence to the guidelines for C-spine clearance in a level-one trauma centre. Methods We retrospectively included all children, presented at the ED between January 2006 and December 2013, in whom radiographic imaging of the C-spine was obtained following blunt trauma. Primary outcome was the adherence to the international guidelines with regard to (1) if the indication for radiographic imaging was correct and (2) if the type of radiographic imaging was correct. Results Included were 573 patients; 336 boys (58.7%). Median age was 11 years (IQR 5.25-15). The indication for radiographic imaging was correct in all cases. The type of primary imaging modality was concordant with the guidelines in 99,7%. In 41% of the cases supplementary radiographs were made. The most common supplementary view was the odontoid. In 15% an incomplete set of radiographs was obtained. Conclusion The adherence to the international guidelines when to obtain radiographic imaging was 100%. However, in a large proportion of patients (56%), not the recommended number of radiographs was obtained.

Canadian C-spine rule, Cervical spine clearance, Children, NEXUS criteria, Radiographic imaging,
European Journal of Radiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Slaar, A, Fockens, M.M, van Rijn, R.R, Maas, M, Goslings, J.C, Bakx, R, … Schep, N.W.L. (2016). Adherence to the guidelines of paediatric cervical spine clearance in a level I trauma centre: A single centre experience. European Journal of Radiology, 85(1), 55–60. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.11.005