Performing CT scans in the emergency department for patients experiencing dizziness may not be worth the expense — an important finding from Henry Ford Hospital researchers as hospitals across the country look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing patient care. According to the Henry Ford study, less than 1% of the CT scans performed in the emergency department revealed a more serious underlying cause for dizziness – intracranial bleeding or stroke – that required intervention.
The findings suggest that it may be more cost effective for hospitals to instead implement stricter guidelines for ordering in-emergency department CT scans of the brain and head for patients experiencing dizziness.
“When a patient comes into the emergency department experiencing dizziness, a physician’s first line of defense is often to order a CT scan to rule out more serious medical conditions. But in our experience it is extremely rare that brain and head imagining yields significant results,” says study author Syed F. Ahsan, M.D., a neuro-otologist in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.