R Kotnis1, M D Waites2, O Fayomi3 and R Dega4
1 Oxford Trauma and Orthopaedic Rotation 2 South West Thames Trauma and Orthopaedic Rotation 3 Oxford Emergency Medicine Rotation 4 Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire
Objectives: The aim of this study was to reduce the number of inappropriately managed distal radial fractures with the use of a template.
Methods: A template has been developed to aid junior doctors and emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) to decide which distal radial fractures require manipulation. Emergency Department (ED) junior doctors and ENPs were asked to review the radiographs of 12 distal radial fractures with and without the template and comment on whether the fracture required manipulation.
Results: There was an improvement in appropriate management with the template of 16.6% for the junior doctors and 22.3% for the ENPs. This was statistically significant for both groups when the results were analysed with a paired t test (p<0.01).
Conclusions: We conclude that the availability of this template in the ED may be helpful to junior doctors and ENPs, and represents a low cost and efficient way of reducing the number of patients who attend a fracture clinic with a distal radial fracture in an unsatisfactory position. This may also reduce the numbers requiring admission and a manipulation under anaesthetic, which spares the patients the risks of general anaesthesia and may possibly be cost saving.
Emergency Medicine Journal 2005;22:544-547.