In this large cohort of patients with acute headache, a number of clinical variables could predict SAH with 100% sensitivity (contained in 1 of 3 different algorithms), including: age>40, neck pain/stiffness, witnessed loss of consciousness, headache onset with exertion, arrival by ambulance, vomiting, SBP>160 or DBP>100. If any of these are present, evaluation for SAH is warranted. In this cohort, the use of these predictors could have reduced the need for SAH evaluation (CT and LP) by about 10-20% (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.