• Utilising magnetic resonance imaging as the gold-standard in management of suspected scaphoid fractures in the emergency department setting

      Ramasubbu, B; Mac Suibhne, E; El-Gammal, A; Sheehy, N; Shields, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-02)
      Scaphoid fractures are the most common carpal bone fracture. Up to 40% of scaphoid fractures can be missed at initial presentation and investigation. Follow-up plain film radiograph has overall poor sensitivity and reliability. MRI has been shown to have an almost 100% sensitivity and specificity and so is the gold standard in scaphoid fracture diagnosis. Additionally, early specialist involvement is recommended. We proposed that following a designated pathway, there would be no significant increase in MRI requests. Following implementation of a pathway for the management of suspected scaphoid fractures in St James’s Hospital in 2012 re-auditing demonstrated that management changed to either MRI directly after initial x-ray (16/145, 11%), MRI after second x-ray (9/28, 32%) or orthopaedic follow-up (19/28, 68%). The number of MRIs requested was consistent with our predictors of demand. Thus, our new protocol maximises diagnostics, cost effectiveness and quality of patient care.