The role of the pediatrician in mTBI

Children who suffer from mild traumatic brain injury are often referred back to their primary pediatrician for follow-up care. A recent study found that 89% of pediatricians felt that they were the appropriate care provider for the follow-up of mTBI, however 59% of these did not participate in continuing education to learn more about TBI and 62% did not administer neuropsychological tests.

Recent research has advanced our understanding of mTBI-so much so that health care providers need to be aware of changing guidelines and recommendations. The CDC has published a toolkit for physicians who treat mTBI, but many primary care physicians may still be unaware of it. The tool kit can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/physicians_tool_kit.html.

The follow-up of mTBI is especially important in children, for whom complex decisions, such as return to sport, need to be carefully considered. Pediatricians who treat mTBI in their practice need to be aware of the current guidelines set out by the CDC.

Kaye AJ, Gallagher R, Callahan, JM, & Nance ML. Mild traumatic brain injury in the pediatric population: The role of the pediatrician in routine follow-up. Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. (June 2010).

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