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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 June;58(3):289-97


language: Italian

Neurological disorders in a pediatric emergency room: epidemiology and clinical aspects

Palmieri A., Dau D., Gallarotti F., Pavanello M., Di Pietro P.

1 U.O. di Medicina d’Urgenza e PS DEA Pediatrico Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova 2 Clinica Pediatrica Istituto G. Gaslini,Genova 3 U.O. di Neurochirurgia Istituto G. Gaslini, Genova


Aim. The aim of this study was to demonstrate how important neurological disorders are in the organization of services and education of staff in a pediatric emergency room. The first objective was to collect and review data in pediatric emergency care; based on an analysis of these data, the second objective was to design an organizational plan for emergency services to be developed in this setting.
Methods. We used the ICD IX system to search our computerized database created in 2000 and to select diagnoses from the medical records of patients who came to our emergency room with neurological symptoms. Because the system is not yet comprehensive and because this was a retrospective study, we had to select the bulk of the diagnoses following the formulation each of us had given at patient discharge. While this raised the risk of data spread, it still permitted us to identify certain characteristics of the disorders that were particularly useful for classifying their etiopathogenesis.
Results. Selected were 2.630 neurological patients that had been discharged or admitted to our unit (2.7% of all admissions). The patients were stratified by disorder and admission code number. Specific disorders of major impact, the clinical approach to their treatment and etiology were reviewed in detail.
Conclusion. The results provide evidence that acute neurological disorders command the immediate attention of the emergency room physician and require prompt diagnosis.

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