The number of children diagnosed with concussion at hospital emergency rooms has more than doubled over the last decade while the number of admissions after ER treatment declined, says the preliminary results of a 2012 study.
The data suggest efforts to increase awareness of the dangers of traumatic brain injury are working. "In our view, the higher rate of concussion diagnoses is a good sign," said Jeffrey Colvin, MD, JD, lead author of the study and pediatrician at Children's Mercy, in an interview with the Associated Press. "More patients are finally seeking care from healthcare professionals for concussions, which can be even more serious when not properly diagnosed and treated."
Analyzing data over the period 2001-20010 from 14 children's hospitals nationwide, researchers at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City found that diagnosis of pediatric concussion cases in emergency rooms increased by 58%, from 2,126 to 4,967. At the same time the percentage of children who were hospitalized for concussion treatment fell sharply from 25 percent to 9 percent.
The new findings are consistent with a 2011 CDC study,1 which reported a big jump in the number of pediatric ER concussion visits but that the number of admissions did not go up.
The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Boston on April 28, 2012.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Nonfatal Traumatic Brain Injuries Related to Sports and Recreation Activities Among Persons Aged ≤ 19 Years -- United States, 2001-2009; 2011; 60(39):1337-1342 (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6039a1.htm?s_cid=mm6039a1_e&s...)(accessed October 7, 2011).
Additional sources: PR Newswire, Associated Press
Posted May 4, 2012