Headaches in the paediatric population are challenging for all healthcare professionals and particularly so for paramedics.
Skilled assessment is required as potential causes range from benign to life threatening and management varies from basic analgesia to emergency medical interventions.
Rare, but potentially life threatening causes of headaches in children include intracranial haemorrhage, meningococcal septicaemia, space occupying lesions and pseudotumour cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Management involves identifying red flags on patient assessment and history and commencing medical treatment.
The following module will discuss headaches in children. It begins with an overview of causes and the clinical classifications of a headache. It will then review a focused paediatric patient assessment and highlight red flags, which may suggest a severe condition and potential for patient deterioration. Clinical scenarios will be used to consolidate learning. The module discusses pre-hospital care for those nurses working in the primary health care environment or working as emergency first responders.
This module is aimed at any nurse working with children, be it in the hospital setting, as an emergency responder or the primary health care setting.
At the end of this module participants will be able to: