How to diagnose and treat benign headaches

Brian H Rowe, Cristina Villa-Roel, Lynette D Krebs
CJEM 2019, 21 (5): 587-590
A 19-year-old female, university student with a long-standing history of migraine headaches presented to the emergency department (ED) with a 36-hour history of gradual onset of left-sided headache, preceded by visual aura. She stated that her headache was worse than usual and now associated with nausea, vomiting, and photophobia, despite use of oral ibuprofen. On examination, she was afebrile, her SaO2 = 98% on room air, her pulse was 110 beats/minute, and she was breathing 20 breaths/minute. She received a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score of 2 due to her pain score of 8/10 on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Her neurological examination was normal and her neck was supple with full range of motion. She was a non-smoker, infrequent cannabis user, and her last menstrual period was normal.

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