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Question 1
As a prehospital provider, what would you assess for a patient with “headache” as a chief
complaint?
When encountering a patient with the chief complaint of headache as a prehospital/ emergency
care provider, the assessment is done as follows:
Assessing whether it is Primary headaches or secondary headache:
Primary headaches mean the headache is chief complaint and exists on its own. They are more
frequently encountered and comprise the following types:
Migraines
Tension headaches
Cluster headaches
Secondary headaches are caused by another disease and are therefore secondary to that primary
disease. They are in fact a symptom of that disease or condition for examples infections or
cancers/tumors.
What to assess in a patient with the chief complaint of Headache
When evaluating patients with headaches, the history should be taken to know the
Nature of the pain (location, severity, character, and onset)
Associated symptoms
Aggravating and relieving factors.
Past medical history (including history of head trauma, medications)

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Family history to identify risk factors for serious disease.
A history of prior headaches and
Any previous diagnostic studies.
Warning clues pointing towards a potentially dangerous cause include:
Sudden onset of headache
Headache being described as the "worst headache of life,"
Headaches dramatically different from past episodes,
Headaches in immunocompromised people,
New onset after age 50 years
Onset with exertion
Physical Examination:
Complete general physical examination
Comprehensive neurological examination
Warning signs for a severe/ominous causes of headache includes
- altered mental status
- meningeal signs
- focal neurological deficits
- rash suspicious for meningococcemia
Vital sings
Abnormal vital signs can be a harbinger of life-threatening conditions.

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Question 1 As a prehospital provider, what would you assess for a patient with “headache” as a chief complaint? When encountering a patient with the chief complaint of headache as a prehospital/ emergency care provider, the assessment is done as follows: Assessing whether it is Primary headaches or secondary headache: Primary headaches mean the headache is chief complaint and exists on its own. They are more frequently encountered and comprise the following types: • Migraines • Tension headaches • Cluster headaches Secondary headaches are caused by another disease and are therefore secondary to that primary disease. They are in fact a symptom of that disease or condition for examples infections or cancers/tumors. What to assess in a patient with the chief complaint of Headache When evaluating patients with headaches, the history should be taken to know the • Nature of the pain (location, severity, character, and onset) • Associated symptoms • Aggravating and relieving factors. • Past medical history (including history of head trauma, medications) • Family history to identify risk factors for serious disease. • A history of prior headaches an ...
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