Many children go to primary care for concussions, not the ER

EMBED </>More News Videos

Local injury experts say the problem with kids suffering concussions is likely worse than previously thought. (WPVI)

Local injury experts say the problem with kids suffering concussions is likely worse than previously thought.

Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia along with the C-D-C just published a new study.

It says the number of kids' concussions is likely UNDER-estimated.

While previous estimates came largely from emergency rooms, this study of more than 8-thousand kids shows about 80% concussions are diagnosed by a primary care doctor.

So thousands of cases aren't being counted.

The lead researcher credits modern technology for this new picture.

"It was the power of the electronic health record that finally the ability to look across our whole health network in a systematic way, and accurately count," says Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D., of Children's Hospital Center for Injury Research.

Arbogast says treatment in primary care offices is appropriate unless there are severe symptoms, including seizure and blurred vision.

She says another eye-opening lesson from the study was that many more kids under the age of 12 get concussions than previously thought.

She says primary care doctors need to be fully up-to-speed on concussion symptoms and treatment.

Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness or confusion after a blow to the head.

Arbogast says CHOP embarked on a program to give primary care doctors more training in concussion symptoms and care, following a 2010 survey of them.

The study was published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

For more information on recognizing and dealing with child concussions, see CHOP's Minds Matter site.
Related Topics:
healthhealthcheckconcussionchildren's hospital of philadelphiachildren's health
(Copyright ©2017 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments