Doctors Need Better Ways to Spot, Treat Concussion in Kids

Survey suggests need for improved training, quicker response

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Doctors Need Better Ways to Spot, Treat Concussion in Kids

TUESDAY, Nov. 13, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians need improved training and tools to treat children with concussions, according to a new study.

It included a survey of 145 emergency medicine and primary care pediatricians. In the three months before the survey, 91 percent of the doctors had treated at least one child with a concussion and 92 percent had referred at least one child to a concussion specialist.

The survey revealed differences in how the pediatricians recognized the signs, symptoms and physical exam findings for concussion, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) researchers said.

They said their findings point to the need for specialized, continuing medical education training for primary care and emergency medicine pediatricians, together with standardized clinical decision support tools and patient education tools.

The study was published online Nov. 12 in the journal Pediatrics. The data from the survey is being used to create a new model of care for children with concussion.

"We have seen concussion visits within our emergency department, primary care and specialty care network at CHOP quadruple since 2009, to a current total of more than 6,700 each year," study author Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, a researcher at CHOP's Center for Injury Research and Prevention and a pediatric emergency medicine specialist, said in a hospital news release.

"The emergency department and primary care settings often serve as the entry point of care for children with a suspected concussion, and we know that early diagnosis and treatment of concussion can lead to faster, more complete recovery," he noted.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about children and concussion.

SOURCE: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, news release, Nov. 12, 2012

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