CT use has increased dramatically over the past several years. In a series review by Markel, from 2002 to 2005, CT usage jumped from 5.5% to 10.5% in blunt trauma cases.36 Newer iterations of CT scanners as well as ease of CT angiography have delivered increasingly detailed images of the vascular, parenchymal, and bony structures of the thorax. CT scanners are also readily available and are commonly located within the physical structure of the ED. With such readily available technology, the malpractice environment may also play a role in an emergency clinician’s fear of missing a potentially life-altering diagnosis that could be easily seen by CT.
To read the rest of this section, choose one of the options below.