pecarn pediatric head traumaThe Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) collaborative has teamed up with the ALiEM and CanadiEM teams to introduce the official PECARN visual decision rule aid for pediatric blunt head trauma! This has been a 6 month collaboration focused on bringing evidence-based research to the bedside in pediatric emergency medicine (EM).

Patient Age < 2 Years

Patient Age ≥ 2 Years

Use these direct links to the PDFs[Age <2 yr] [Age ≥2 yr]

Behind the Scenes

Approximately 6 months ago, an international, multi-team workgroup came together to create a reference image for the practice-changing PECARN study on pediatric head trauma. This study identified children at very low risk of clinically-important brain injuries after head trauma.1

The goal of this project was to produce an image that:

  • Serves as a reminder for learners who have familiarity with the study
  • Could be used a reference tool for a multi-disciplinary team to come to clinical decisions in the resuscitation area
  • Is designed focused and simplifies the algorithm for users

Three diverse teams of designers and educators took on the challenge. Each team drafted an image and we collaborated through the Slack platform to provide feedbacks and edits. We used our favorite aspects of each draft to come to our final product. Check out our preliminary designs!

We hope that you can use this image in the clinical setting to educate learners and providers about an important decision rule that can save resources and radiation in our pediatric patients. We would love to hear feedback on these resources.

The Team

A huge thanks to our entire design team who worked tirelessly to put this together!

Primary Design Team

  • Beth Runcie, DO (Graduating EM resident, UH Regional Hospitals)
  • Esther Chen, MD (UCSF Professor of Emergency Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital)
  • Alvin Chin, MD, MSc (EM resident, McMaster University)

Digital Innovation Team

  • Teresa Chan, MD, HBSc, BEd, MHPE (Assistant Professor, McMaster University, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine)
  • Scott Kobner (Medical student, NYU)
  • Nathan Kuppermann, MD (Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, UC Davis; PECARN Principal Investigator)
  • Michelle Lin, MD (UCSF Professor of Emergency Medicine, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital)
  • Simon Huang (Medical student, University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine)
  • Warren Wiechmann, MD (Associate Dean of Clinical Science Education and Educational Technology, UC Irvine School of Medicine)


  1. Kuppermann N, Holmes J, Dayan P, et al. Identification of children at very low risk of clinically-important brain injuries after head trauma: a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2009;374(9696):1160-1170. [PubMed]
Gabe Sudario, MD

Gabe Sudario, MD

ALiEM Instagram Director
Multimedia Design Education Technology Fellow
Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine
University of California, Irvine
2015 ALiEM Essentials of EM Fellow