Brain Injury Alert: A New Screening Tool For Children

child in hospital bed

When a child sustains a brain injury, some symptoms might be delayed because of different milestones of the developing brain. These delayed symptoms can be subtle, and are often within cognitive, social, or emotional skills.

Current tools used to screen for brain injury in children are based on behavior, mental status, or family functioning. They do not address the more subtle symptoms of cognitive, social, and emotional deficits. A new screening tool, called the Brain Injury Alert, has recently been tested in children and has been found to effectively report these more subtle symptoms.

Since accurate screening is critical for medical referral and symptom identification, the Brain Injury Alert will become an excellent first-pass tool that can be easily used by any professional (not just neuropsychologists). This can help to more quickly diagnose a brain injury while waiting for the more comprehensive neuropsychological assessment.

Rasquin S, Van Heugten C, Winkins I, et al. Development and validity of the Brain Injury Alert (BI Alert) screening tool for cognitive, emotional and social problems after pediatric acquired brain injury. Brain Injury. (July 2011).