New recommendations to aid in diagnosis and treatment
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new clinical recommendations for healthcare providers treating children with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), often referred to as concussion.
Published in JAMA Pediatrics, The CDC Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children covers 25 years of research and is based upon the most comprehensive review of the science involved in pediatric TBI to date.
“More than 800,000 children seek care for TBI in U.S. emergency departments each year, and until today, there was no evidence-based guideline in the United States on pediatric mTBI—inclusive of all causes,” said Deb Houry, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Healthcare providers will now be equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to ensure the best outcomes for their young patients who sustain an mTBI.”
Specific actions that healthcare practitioners can put into practice immediately include five key, practice-changing recommendations:
- Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose mTBI.
- Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
- Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery, including history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptom presentation immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history (such as learning difficulties and family and social stressors).
- Provide patients and their parents/caregivers with instructions on returning to activity customized to their symptoms.
- Counsel patients and their parents/caregivers to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than a 2-3 days of rest.