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Survey of ER docs and pediatricians highlights need for training, tools to manage kids' concussions
Date:11/11/2012

While general pediatricians and pediatric emergency physicians value their role in concussion management, a study of their self-reported knowledge, practices and attitudes points to the need for improved concussion-specific training and infrastructure to support optimal patient care. The study, released today in the journal Pediatrics, served as a catalyst for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to create a new "medical home" model for managing pediatric and adolescent concussion.

The study surveyed 145 emergency medicine and primary care providers, among whom 91 percent had cared for at least one concussion patient and 92 percent had referred at least one patient to a concussion specialist in the prior three months. Authors noted variability in how respondents recognized signs, symptoms and physical exam findings for concussion. They recommend specialized, continuing medical education training for primary care and emergency medicine clinicians, coupled with standardized clinical decision support tools and patient education tools.

"We have seen concussion visits within our emergency department, primary care and specialty care network at CHOP quadruple since 2009 to a current total of more than 6,700 each year," says Mark Zonfrillo, M.D., M.S.C.E., the study's lead author, a researcher at CHOP's Center for Injury Research and Prevention and a pediatric emergency medicine specialist. "The emergency department and primary care settings often serve as the entry point of care for children with a suspected concussion, and we know that early diagnosis and treatment of concussion can lead to faster, more complete recovery."

"With the increased occurrence and recognition of concussions, it can be challenging to schedule a follow-up appointment with a concussion specialist immediately following injury. However, families can usually see a CHOP primary care provider within the first few days after sustaining a concussion at
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Contact: Alison Fraser
frasera1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6054
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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