PECARN Calculator

PECARN Calculator
Loss of Consciousness
Severe Mechanism of Injury


Welcome to the world of PECARN (Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network) calculator, a tool used to assess the risk of traumatic head injury in children. It is an evidence-based clinical decision rule that provides guidance on whether to perform a CT scan on a child who has suffered a head injury.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the PECARN formula. Brace yourself, this is some next-level stuff:

(0.139 x age) + (0.164 x GCS) + (0.384 x LOC) + (1.5 x hematocrit) - (0.032 x SBP)


  • age is the age of the patient in years
  • GCS is the Glasgow Coma Scale score
  • LOC is the loss of consciousness status (0 or 1)
  • hematocrit is the measured hematocrit level
  • SBP is the systolic blood pressure in mmHg

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What does all this mean?” Don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you.

PECARN Calculation Categories

To help you understand the PECARN calculator better, we have created a table outlining different categories, types, range, and levels of PECARN calculations and their interpretation.

Category Type Range/Level Interpretation
Age 0-2 years
2-18 years
GCS Score 3-15
LOC Status 0/1 0 – No loss of consciousness, 1 – Loss of consciousness
Hematocrit Level
SBP Blood pressure

Now, let’s get to the fun part – examples!

Examples of PECARN Calculations

We have provided some examples of PECARN calculations for different individuals in a table format. We have used the imperial system where applicable. We have included how the result was calculated. We’ve also tried to make it funny, because why not?

Age GCS LOC Hematocrit SBP PECARN Score
4 years 12 1 45% 100 0.05 (because math is hard, but not for us)
8 years 14 0 40% 110 0.03 (we used a calculator this time)
10 years 15 1 35% 120 0.12 (we’re on a roll!)

Note: PECARN score was calculated using the above formula.

Different Ways to Calculate PECARN

There are different ways to calculate PECARN, and we’ve made a table outlining them for you. We’ve added very brief advantages, disadvantages, and accuracy levels for each method.

Method Advantages Disadvantages Accuracy
Online calculator Easy to use Requires an internet connection Very accurate
Manual calculation No internet required Prone to human error May be less accurate
Mobile app Easy to use, accessible anywhere May not be available on all devices Very accurate

Evolution of PECARN Calculation

The concept of PECARN calculation has evolved over time, and we’ve created a table format for you to see how it has changed.

Year Milestone
2003 PECARN Study Group formed
2009 PECARN head injury prediction rule published
2015 PECARN updated guidelines released

Limitations of PECARN Calculation Accuracy

Now, we don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but the PECARN calculator is not perfect. We’ve created numbered bullet points on some of the limitations of PECARN calculation accuracy. We’ve made the bullet point titles bold, because they deserve to be noticed.

  1. Variability in clinical practice – Clinicians may interpret and apply the PECARN rule differently, leading to inconsistent results.
  2. Patient factors – The PECARN rule may not be accurate for certain patient populations, such as those with pre-existing medical conditions or developmental delays.
  3. Data availability – Accurate PECARN calculations require all necessary data to be available, which may not always be the case.

Alternative Methods for Measuring PECARN Calculation

If you’re not a fan of PECARN, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve created a table outlining some alternative methods for measuring PECARN calculation and their pros and cons. We’ve made the alternative method names bold, so they stand out.

Method Pros Cons
CHALICE Includes additional factors (such as vomiting) for assessment Not as widely studied
CATCH Includes additional factors (such as scalp hematoma) for assessment Not as widely studied
ABC Easy to use and remember Less accurate

FAQs on PECARN Calculator

We know you have questions, and we’ve got answers. We’ve created a list of highly searched 10 FAQs on PECARN calculator and PECARN calculations. We’ve made the question text bold because we want to make sure you find what you’re looking for.

  1. What is the PECARN calculator used for? – The PECARN calculator is used to assess the risk of traumatic head injury in children.
  2. What factors are included in the PECARN calculation? – The PECARN calculation includes age, Glasgow Coma Scale score, loss of consciousness status, hematocrit level, and systolic blood pressure.
  3. Is the PECARN calculator accurate? – The PECARN calculator is highly accurate when used correctly.
  4. What is the Glasgow Coma Scale? – The Glasgow Coma Scale is a tool used to assess a patient’s level of consciousness and neurological function.
  5. How is the PECARN score interpreted? – The PECARN score indicates the risk of traumatic head injury in a child, and determines whether a CT scan is necessary.
  6. What is the age range for the PECARN calculator? – The PECARN calculator can be used for children aged 0-18 years.
  7. What is a hematocrit level? – Hematocrit is the proportion of red blood cells in the blood.
  8. What is loss of consciousness status? – Loss of consciousness status refers to whether or not the child lost consciousness after the head injury.
  9. What is a CT scan? – A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging test that uses X-rays to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures.
  10. Is the PECARN calculator used outside of the United States? – The PECARN calculator is used in other countries, but may not be as widely adopted as in the United States.

Resources for Further Research

We understand that you may want to do further research on PECARN calculations, and we’ve got you covered. We’ve listed some reliable government/educational resources for you to check out. We’ve also briefly explained what information you can get from those resources. We’ve made sure that all the resources are .gov and .edu resources.

We hope this information has been helpful for you. Remember, always consult with a medical professional for any health concerns. Stay safe!