According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, a push in the medical community has directed attention at concussion care for young athletes, specifically children and teens who are more vulnerable than adults to the problems associated with traumatic brain injuries. Estimates say that as many 3.8 million sport-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year. Among children and teens, the CDC says that emergency room visits for sports-related brain injuries increased by 60% over the past 10 years.
Issues such as long-term physical, mental and emotional problems can all result from head injuries and major medical centers across the country have begun offering new programs aimed at better educating those around kids for how to take steps to avoid problems. Programs have been attempting to get information to school nurses, coaches, school athletic directors, parents and pediatricians.
New medical research has also led to a better understanding of concussions which occur when a sudden force to the head causes brain tissue to collide with the inside of the skull. Recent studies have revealed how differently head traumas can affect each patient, with some research showing that certain patients are predisposed to sustaining a concussion. Tests are being designed to identify those who are vulnerable to repeat concussions. Some researchers have found a marker in the brain that may predict how patients recover after a concussion which can help doctors know who to watch more carefully.
Though most states now require that those kids who have sustained a concussion be kept away from sports until they’ve been cleared by a doctor, many doctors are unaware of the latest approaches to managing concussions. A recent survey of emergency and primary-care doctors in the journal Pediatrics found that doctors did not consistently follow guidelines or proscribe proper discharge instructions to those that were admitted for concussion. These instructions include things like getting enough rest, staying away from strenuous activities and stimuli such as TV and videogames and then only gradually return to school and sports.
Given the terrible, life-altering risks associated with traumatic brain injury, it is important that those suffering from a head injury receive immediate medical attention and continue to follow-up with therapy as needed. What may appear to be a minor problem could actually be the start of a serious brain injury. That is why all head injuries should be checked by a skilled doctor, just to make sure there are no long-term effects.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the experienced Huntsville personal injury attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. for a free personal injury consultation today.
Source: “Fresh Efforts to Improve Teens’ Concussion Care” by Laura Landro, published at WSJ.com.