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Headache in the ED: Overview and expert interview

from Neurology Advisor

From May 1: Headache has been cited as the fourth most common reason for visits to the emergency department, with an estimated 4 million people in the United States presenting to the ED each year with this complaint. Although most cases are due to primary headache disorders and ultimately determined to be benign, the consequences of more serious pathology, which accounts for approximately 4% of ED headaches, can be catastrophic, highlighting the importance of accurate diagnosis in this setting. Thus, "identifying life-threatening secondary causes of headache — which may be broadly categorized into structural, infectious, and vascular causes — is the primary focus of evaluation in the ED," because they are associated with high mortality and morbidity, according to a 2019 paper by Murtaza Akhter, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, and colleagues. more

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