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<< A Systematic Approach To The Evaluation Of Acute Unexplained Crying In Infants In The Emergency Department

Diagnostic Studies

There is a wide array of testing that could be performed on a crying infant due to the breadth of diagnostic possibilities for underlying etiologies. Given the fear of “missing something” in an infant, emergency clinicians may overevaluate these patients with unnecessary laboratory and imaging studies. There are no algorithms or practice guidelines devoted specifically to this topic, which makes evaluation of these infants challenging, yet it underscores the importance of a thoughtful and individualized workup. The best diagnostic strategy is one that is evidencebased, tailored to each patient, and clinically effective, with attention paid to time and healthcare costs. The elements of an ED evaluation that meet these criteria are presented below, highlighting high-yield versus low-yield testing in the ED setting.

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