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Table 1 Critical Reporting Elements for Case Reports

From: Case reports describing treatments in the emergency medicine literature: missing and misleading information

Description of Patient and Disease
Age and gender Patient age and gender are provided
Definition, stage and severity of disease Description of patient and his illness prior to intervention are clearly described. Criteria utilized to confirm patient's disease are clear (scoring criteria, imaging, laboratory studies, pathologic specimens).
Co-morbid conditions Relevant co-morbid conditions listed as present or absent
Patient medications Relevant medications listed or stated that none were present
Description of Interventions
Route and dose of medications or details of procedure Route and dose of medications stated clearly; or, details of procedure provided.
Co-interventions Expected or unexpected co-interventions listed, or statement that none were administered.
Description of Outcomes
Clinically relevant outcomes defined Critical outcome measures are clearly defined. The authors state the time period when outcomes were assessed, the durability of observed outcomes, their importance to patients and whether other relevant outcomes were or were not measured.
Side effects reported All side effects clearly described, or stated that none were observed.
Threats to Generalizability and Validity
Generalizability The report highlights patient attributes, disease characteristics, expertise of clinician-authors, treatment setting or other factors that might limit generalizability or applicability of the treatment to other settings or patient populations.
Alternative explanations Authors describe alternative explanations for the observed treatment effect, such as the natural resolution of the symptoms or signs, spontaneous variation, co-interventions or observer bias.
Information about "denominator" There is a clear reference to the number of other patients who received this intervention, whether successful or not.