According to a recent article in Athletic Business, about 82 percent of children had their first concussion visit at their primary care site such as a physician’s office compared to 12 percent of children who were diagnosed in an emergency room, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produced the study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.
Because the majority of concussions are reported outside the emergency department, according to the study, there is a concern that concussions in children are underreported.
“We need surveillance that better captures concussions that occur in children and adolescents,” Dr. Debra Houry, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement. “Better estimates of the number, causes, and outcomes of concussion will allow us to more effectively prevent and treat them, which is a priority area for CDC’s Injury Center.”
According to Steven Leibel, a North Georgia Brain Injury attorney, many pediatric injuries involving children in car wrecks go undiagnosed. “There is a natural tendency of parents to wish away the likelihood of head injuries because most parents want everyone to be alright after a car wreck” Leibel pointed out that traumatic brain injuries often manifest themselves in the weeks following the wreck. He advised that parents bring their children for a check up if they notice any change in behaviors including memory loss, confusion, and or headaches. Younger children can be more fussy or irritable, start bed wetting again, and exhibit behaviors that do not seem usual for them.
Read More: Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Georgia
The study found that a specialist, such as a sports medicine doctor or neurologist, diagnosed 5 percent of children who had their first concussion while 1 percent of children were directly admitted to the hospital. One-third of those diagnosed were under the age of 12, the study found.
A total of 8,083 patients up to 17 years old (with a median age of 13) within the CHOP network were included in the study. Records from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2014, were selected.
According to Christina Master, a co-author and CHOP pediatric sports medicine specialist “This study provides direction for healthcare networks and clinicians about the critical importance of providing targeted training and resources in primary care settings,”