A Retrospective Assessment of Emergency Department Patients with Complaint of Headache


  • Presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Headache, at St. Louis, June 17, 1978



A one year retrospective assessment of emergency department patient charts with the chief complaint of headache revealed two major categories: (1) general infections; (2) tension headaches. Although somewhat small, a number of cases were categorized as post-traumatic, migraine, and hypertension-related headaches. Only 11 patients out of 872 or 1.2 per cent had serious neurological conditions. It is concluded that the vast majority of headaches seen in the emergency department are benign in nature.