Adults who suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can incur serious, life-changing consequences, whether the injury is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe.
Children who sustain these injuries, however, can suffer even greater devastation. Various activities such as bike riding, rollerblading, or any number of sporting activities can leave kids susceptible to sustaining serious head and brain injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States, over 800,000 children obtain medical care for brain injuries. As a result of the high risk children face for brain injury, the CDC has issued new pediatric guidelines that address recommended care procedures of medical care professionals for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients.
Commonly associated with a concussion, mTBI in children is an increasing and serious public health issue as reflected in the significant increase of ER visits for mTBI over the past decade, according to epidemiologic data. However, prior to these new CDC guidelines, no other evidence-based clinical guidelines had been created in the U.S. for the diagnosis and management of mTBI in children.
The new TBI guidelines for parents and medical providers
The CDC recommends that medical providers and parents adhere to the following guidelines when treating pediatric patients with TBI:
- Accurately diagnose mTBI using an age-appropriate symptom scale.
- Avoid unnecessary imaging for the diagnosis of TBI in pediatric patients.
- Receive thorough educational instructions on caring for patients.
- Assess a patient’s risk factors for recovery time, such as family history and social stressors.
- Instruct the patient to rest for 2-3 days max, prior to engaging in non-sports related daily activities.
- Give patients and their parents/caretakers personalized advice on when to resume activities based on their particular symptoms.
The CDC guidelines suggest that activities such as mental and cardiovascular exercise – gradually increased over time – can provide more benefit to the patient than a total absence of activity. However, the level of activity suggested can vary based on recovery time for each individual patient. It is the physician’s responsibility to properly evaluate patients’ recovery times.
These guidelines are considered to be a “best practice” for now, until updated guidelines are provided in the near future. The study of traumatic brain injury and its consequences continues to develop, which may lead to additional progress in the future for the evaluation and treatment of the condition.
Physicians treating children who have sustained a brain injury must apply treatment in a manner that mitigates the effects of the injury as much as possible while maximizing the potential for recovery. Children who suffer brain due to the negligence of another party may be eligible to receive considerable compensation.
If you or your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury, Harris Lowry Manton LLP may be able to help. We can fight to obtain the financial compensation you are owed for your physical and financial losses. Take the first step in putting our experience, resources, and knowledge to work for you. To schedule a free consultation, call our Atlanta personal injury lawyers today at 404.998.8847, our Savannah personal injury attorneys at 912.417.3774, or complete our contact form.