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New Test Helps Identify Children at High Risk for Ongoing Concussion Symptoms

 Posted on April 25, 2016 in Personal Injury

Wisconsin accident attorney, Wisconsin injury lawyerNow that science better understands the long-term consequences of a concussion, doctors are searching for ways to better determine who may be at risk. This is particularly true when it comes to children, who are at especially high risk for secondary complications. Unfortunately, testing has remained fairly inconsistent and extremely difficult. However, a new study revealed a possible test that may be more reliable.

Concussions in Kids

Previous research indicates that, of all children who suffer from a concussion, about 30 percent will have persistent symptoms for a month or longer. Referred to as persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS), these ongoing ailments can include headaches, dizziness, thinking problems, and emotional issues, such as anxiety or irritability. All have the potential to affect them at home and at school. And, because these children are at higher risk for secondary, more severe traumatic incidents, they are often kept out of the recreational activities they love.

New Test Provides Better Indicator of at Risk Children

Current identification of at risk children relies heavily on physician assessment; the test, which was developed by researchers from the Clinical Research Unit at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, focuses specifically on key risk factors, giving physicians more insight as to which children may be more prone to suffering from PPCS. Those risk factors included:

  • Being female;
  • Being 13 or older;
  • Having a history of migraine headaches;
  • Having a prior concussion;
  • Presence of headache;
  • Presence of noise sensitivity;
  • Presence of fatigue;
  • Answering questions more slowly; and
  • And having a prior concussion with symptoms that lasted longer than one week.

More than 3,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 18 – all of which had suffered a concussion because of a sport injury, from falling, after an assault, or after an automobile accident – were evaluated using this model seven, 14, and 28 days after their injuries. Each received a risk score during each interview and then placed in a risk group – low, moderate, or high risk for PPCS.

Those with low risks were not required to follow up with a specialist and needed only clearance from their pediatrician before returning to normal activities. The moderate risk group children were advised to schedule a follow-up with their physicians who could then determine whether or not a visit to the concussion clinic was necessary. And those identified as high risk were immediately referred to the concussion clinic to ensure they received close monitoring and treatment that was intended to decrease the risk of secondary injury and prevent ongoing symptoms.

According to the researchers, this model and treatment plan proved to be superior to current methods; it is their hope that further research will be done to test it in other settings and on adults.

Injured in an Accident? Seek Qualified Legal Help

Whether you or your child were injured in a car accident, construction accident, or while on someone else’s property, proper treatment and monitoring are needed. Unfortunately, this treatment comes at a cost – a cost that should be covered by the negligent party. The Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you pursue that compensation and ensure your rights are protected. Learn more by scheduling your consultation. Call 414-271-1440 today.




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