According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, although the majority of concussions that are diagnosed annually occur in children, clinical guidelines are usually based on adult concussion sufferers. The lack of guidelines may limit the ability of pediatricians to accurately predict the duration of a child’s symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and concentration problems — which can interfere with school and other activities.

In many concussion cases, concussion symptoms last only a few days. However, up to 25 percent of children have prolonged concussion symptoms which can last for months.

Concussion Symptom Saliva Test Study Presented at Annual Meeting

New research presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting suggests that a saliva test for children may offer answers as to how long concussion symptoms will last. Researchers presented an abstract of the study, “Peripheral microRNA patterns predict prolonged concussion symptoms in pediatric patients.” The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations: Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research.


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A recent study evaluated the impact of financial compensation on late mortality after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The findings suggest that compensation may reduce late mortality risk.

To determine the impact of financial compensation on long-term mortality in adults with severe TBI, the outcomes of 2545 adults discharged from three post-acute inpatient rehabilitation services were analyzed. Compensation data were available for 1851 participants, with 826 receiving financial compensation. The study noted that yearly standardized mortality ratios were elevated above general population norms for six to ten years in both groups.


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A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health noted a significant decrease in recurrent concussions among high school athletes following the implementation of laws in many states relating to sports play.

As reported by Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research, these laws aim to reduce harm from brain injuries occurring during youth sports activities. They address such factors as removal from play following injury, requirements for return-to-play clearance after a concussion, and education of coaches, parents, and athletes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 300,000 youths suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or concussions while playing sports each year. TBIs can cause serious health consequences in children, which may be short-term or lifelong.

In response to these injuries, all states have passed laws for the purpose of reducing brain injuries during youth sports play. Data is now available to analyze the possible impact of those laws on reducing brain injuries in children.


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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause cognitive, behavioral, and physical limitations, and impact an individual’s ability to return to work, reintegrate into the community and live independently.

A new study will undertake a systematic review of the predictive nature of discharge settings following acute care of TBI patients. Researchers believe the results of this review will aid healthcare providers, and TBI patients and their families, in making informed discharge decisions to the next level of care.


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A recent Opinion Page article in the New York Times discusses the implications of covert consciousness on patients’ rights. Covert consciousness is a state of consciousness that cannot be detected by bedside examination. The author pointedly asks: “If there is a legal obligation to educate the developing brain, should there not be a correlative responsibility to those whose brains are in a process of redevelopment and recovery?”

The author writes about a patient who was participating in a study of patients with severe brain injury who exhibited the ability to use her left eye to answer simple yes or no questions with an eye tracking device. The young woman had suffered a complex stroke while in college and had been thought to be in a permanently unconscious “vegetative state.” She was subsequently found to be in the “minimally conscious state,” capable of demonstrating intention, attention, and memory.


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While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has addressed protection from head injuries for flight attendants, according to a recent article, it has not addressed the impact of shrinking seat designs on the safety of passengers. A second article states that no seat in coach meets the FAA’s standards for the space required for flight attendant seat safety.

Graphic Sheds Light on Impact of Smaller Seats and Rows on Safety

Embedded in the regulations governing commercial airline safety is a graphic that may offer evidence that smaller seats and rows on airplanes may affect passengers’ safety. The DOT graphic shows the “head strike zone” for a seated flight attendant and is intended to offer guidance on seat design to reduce the risk of injury to flight attendants during takeoff and landing but apparently a similar analysis has not been undertaken as to passengers.


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