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CDC announces new guidelines for treating head trauma

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced guidelines for improving how medical staff and parents each recognize and deal with concussions (also known as mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI)). Often involving student athletics, these injury symptoms usually are temporary, and 90 percent of the time go undetected and do not involve loss of consciousness. Nevertheless, they could affect the injured later in life.

Common symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision

While these symptoms often show up immediately, sometimes they do not appear for hours or days. Parents and medical staff also need to watch for anything that is unusual involving movement, mood or trouble concentrating.

New guidelines for treatment

Based on 25 years of concussion-related research, there are now shifts in medical staff's approach:

  • Blood and routine imaging are not recommended for mTBI diagnosis; instead, X-rays and CT scans are a better option.
  • Inactivity and rest for three days is recommended, but that protocol of non-activity may worsen the situation after that time.
  • Recovery times vary in individual cases, but longer recovery is typical for children with previous head trauma, or who have some form of mental illness or a learning disability.
  • Even when victims feel fine, it is recommended to take it slow in returning to sports after a brain injury.

Medical staff can make mistakes

It is particularly important to hold them accountable if you or a loved one has an improperly treated or diagnosed brain injury, particularly as they relate to these advances in treatment.

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