Peripheral blood picture following mild head trauma in children

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Abstract

Background

The aim of the present study was to investigate changes in peripheral white blood cell, and differential counts following mild head trauma in a pediatric population.

Methods

Fifty-one patients (mean age, 79 ± 62 months) with mild head trauma (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] score 15) who were admitted to the emergency department, were studied. Two blood specimens were collected from each patient, one on arrival and one after 24 h at the emergency department. Complete blood count was performed using a hemocytometer and the absolute cell counts for each sample were calculated after examination of peripheral smear.

Results

No patient developed any complication during the hospital stay or after discharge. Significant differences were found for white blood cell, neutrophil, and immature cell counts just after and 24 h after trauma (P = 0.047, 0.039 and 0.009, respectively).

Conclusions

Mild head trauma may cause an increase in white blood cell, neutrophil and band counts in children just after trauma. In a child with a mild head trauma, who is asymptomatic, with GCS score of 15 and absence of risk factors, and without clinical deterioration, complete blood cell count may be omitted from laboratory workup. But a prospective randomized study comparing mild head trauma patients with good and bad clinical outcome is needed to draw a definite conclusion.

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