Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Can the use of radiography of arms and legs in accident and emergency units be made more efficient?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 31 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:291
  1. M C Charny,
  2. W P Ennis,
  3. C J Roberts,
  4. K T Evans


    The efficiency of the selection of patients with injured arms and legs for radiography was investigated. The analysis was based on data on presenting signs and symptoms collected in a multicentre study organised by the Royal College of Radiologists working party on the effective use of diagnostic radiology. The work was carried out in eight accident and emergency units in England and Wales. With the help of various computer simulation techniques a combination of signs and symptoms that might usefully improve present practice was sought. The results suggest that for injuries of arms and legs the clinical determinants of bony injury cannot be refined further to improve current selection for radiography. This study shows that existing clinical practice is probably as good as it can be.