Headache in the Emergency

  • Aastha Takkar Kapila
  • Sudhir Sharma
  • Vivek Lal


Headache is by far the most common usual neurological complaint in general population. Given the spectrum of benign etiology to a life-threatening illness, it is a highly challenging symptom for a clinician in an emergency department (ED). The primary objective of the emergency clinician is often to determine whether the patient has a secondary headache attributed to an urgent medical condition requiring prompt therapy. In a busy emergency, it can be intimidating where a patient of severe tension-type headache presents with as severe a distress as a patient with subarachnoid hemorrhage. This may result in a tendency to over investigate with neuroimaging and additional lab investigations. These not only impose significant impacts on the patient’s quality of life and healthcare economy but also cause unnecessary delays in appropriate treatment. In most instances, the clinician can accurately diagnose a patient’s headache from history and careful clinical examination and determine whether neuroimaging or additional lab testing is indicated


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aastha Takkar Kapila
    • 1
  • Sudhir Sharma
    • 2
  • Vivek Lal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC)SimlaIndia

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