CDC Announces Information help Physicians Recognize Concussions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is announcing a revision to the multimedia educational physicians´ tool kit to help provide earlier diagnosis, management and appropriate referral for patients with concussions. One of the key components in the revised kit is the Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) assessment tool which can help physicians with their initial evaluation and diagnosis for patients of all ages with a known or suspected concussion.
Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by a bump or blow to the head that disrupts the way the brain normally works. In the United States, at least 1.4 million people die or are treated in a hospital or emergency department with a TBI each year. Of those, 75 to 90 percent are categorized as mild TBIs.
Many concussions are not treated and CDC experts estimate that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation-related TBIs occur each year in the U.S.
"Recent research has shown that diagnosing mild TBIs as soon as possible is critically important because without proper management, recovery can take longer, and people who are still recovering are at higher risk of having a second, more serious injury. We believe that the ACE assessment tool will provide a needed diagnostic tool for physicians because it provides the most up-to-date information on how to recognize and treat concussion" said Dr. Jean Langlois, one of CDC’s leading TBI researchers and one of the authors of the tool kit.
Working with CDC staff, researchers at Children´s National Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center developed the ACE assessment to guide physicians through an evaluation of characteristics of the injury, symptoms and risk factors.