The brain, although encased by cerebrospinal fluid, is said to experience a “concussion” when it is shaken violently due to a blow to the head. Concussions are fairly enigmatic as effects vary from person to person and from instance to instance. Treatment of concussions in the health care field is a current area of interest.
This study aims to provide insight into the estimated number of sports related concussions seen in the emergency department (ED) and help ED physicians provide appropriate counseling and follow-up guidelines for safe return to play (RTP) time.
PubMed and Web of Science were used for article searches. Selection criteria for articles included: a) reported rate of concussions seen in US EDs and b) data of studies regarded participants considered as youth or adolescents (0-19 years of age).
Results show an increasing trend in participation in Lacrosse, Field Hockey, and Ice Hockey, with concussions accounting for 3% of total injuries. From 1997-2007, concussion rate has steadily increased by 70% in all organized team sport (OTS). It was seen that 28% of concussed pediatric patients seen in US EDs were released without any further medical guidance for follow-up treatment.
This study advocates that medical staff consult all parties when advising on concussion management. RTP can be granted once full physical and cognitive recovery is achieved and medical clearance is granted. RTP must be uniquely assessed for each case, as there is no fixed time line for return to play.