Student Well-Being

Emergency Room Visits for Youth Concussions Double

By Bryan Toporek — May 02, 2012 1 min read
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The number of youth concussions diagnosed in emergency rooms has more than doubled over the past 10 years, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Boston this past weekend.

The study, conducted by researchers at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., was based on 10 years of data from 14 children’s hospitals found in the Pediatric Health Information System, a national database of 42 pediatric hospitals.

The researchers discovered that the number of children being diagnosed with concussions during emergency-room visits jumped from 2,126 in 2001 to 4,967 in 2010, an increase of roughly 58 percent. (These figures include all children, not just student-athletes.)

There was a silver lining, however. The percentage of patients admitted to a hospital after receiving their concussion diagnosis dropped from 24.7 percent in 2001 (525 children in total) to 11.2 percent in 2010 (555 children).

In other words: The number of children being diagnosed with concussions in the E.R. may have doubled, but relatively the same number were admitted to a hospital in 2001 and 2010 as a result of concussions.

Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, the study’s lead author, believes the increase in concussion diagnoses may actually be a

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.