A recent article out of Medscape reported on the disturbing news that concussion patients across the nation are missing important follow up care after their injuries.
In 2013, there were 2.5 million visits for trauma-related injuries to the brain. The majority of those patients were diagnosed as having “mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). For patients with any type of TBI, follow up care is recommended and essential. Unfortunately, less than half of these patients are sent home with any TBI educational materials.
No Follow Up Care for TBI Patients
According to a recent study, in 1,000 E.R. patients diagnosed with mild TBI, only about 42 percent were sent home with educational material about post-concussion care. More disturbingly, after three months, only about 44 percent had seen a practitioner for a follow-up appointment, and some of those people had significant post-concussive symptoms or positive head CTs. Researchers are trying to determine what’s causing the poor follow-up rates for patients with TBI.
Recovering From a Concussion
The research found wide-ranging differences between follow-up rates in a variety of different settings, from well-respected academic centers to traditional emergency rooms. Additionally, patient income and insurance status didn’t appear to be factors in whether or not follow-up care was included. The reality is that there is no standard of care or accountability for follow-up care for people with concussions and mild TBI.
Lack of Understanding of Concussion Recovery
The Medscape article is quick to point out that the low follow-up rates aren’t due to patients making full recoveries. In fact, these patients are most likely still dealing with symptoms and recovery issues associated with their brain injuries and concussions. Ultimately, the disparity in follow-up care for concussion patients appears to be a severe lack in understanding and appreciation of the symptoms and issues associated with those recovering from mild TBI. To learn more, see
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