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Headache Dr Sarah Robinson Consultant Emergency Medicine Southampton Headache.

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Presentation on theme: "Headache Dr Sarah Robinson Consultant Emergency Medicine Southampton Headache."— Presentation transcript:

1 Headache Dr Sarah Robinson Consultant Emergency Medicine Southampton Headache

2 Life-threatening Causes: Subarachnoid haemorrhage Meningitis/ encephalitis Space Occupying Lesion Temporal Arteritis Pre-eclampsia Headache

3 Other diagnoses to consider Venous sinus thrombosis Dissection Hypertensive encephalopathy Glaucoma/ iritis CO poisoning Headache

4 Diagnoses you will not make in the ED Migraine Coital cephalgia Exertional headache Headache

5 History Site Onset Character Radiation Associated symptoms Timing Exacerbating/ relieving Severity Headache

6 Red flags: history Thunder-clap headache Worse headache ever Syncopal episode Altered mental state Onset with exercise Worse on waking Seizure Headache

7 Beware... Elderly Immunocompromised Previous neurosurgery (shunts) Headache

8 Red flags: signs Fever Altered mentation Focal neurology Meningism Headache

9 Examination Appearance Photophobic Rash Temperature BP Kernigs/ Brudzinski Focal neuro deficit Visual fields Fundoscopy Headache

10 Subarachnoid haemorrhage Up to 50% initially misdiagnosed – 15% re-bleed early – 40% re-bleed in next 4/52 1 in 10 ED Pts with thunderclap headache Headache

11 SAH: aetiology Family history Smoking Hypertension Alcohol Cocaine Headache

12 SAH: history Most thunderclap Worse headache ever Seizure at onset Neck stiffness Headache

13 SAH: signs May be normal Decreased GCS III CN palsy Retinal haemorrhages Headache


15 SAH: investigations CT – 98% sensitive if within 12 hours LP Headache

16 SAH: Management in ED ABCD defG Analgesia Anti-emetic D/W senior CT and refer Headache

17 SAH: pitfalls “not worse ever headache” “Headache improved with cocodamol” “CT was negative” Headache

18 Meningitis Headache Fever Neck stiffness Altered mental state Sepsis/ SIRS Headache

19 Temporal arteritis Older Scalp tenderness Jaw claudication ESR Headache

20 Summary Thunderclap headache? Senior review Never diagnose migraine in ED Headache

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