The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) guideline. This guideline is based on the most comprehensive review of the science on pediatric mTBI (most commonly referred to as concussion) diagnosis and management to date.
This guideline was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics and includes 19 sets of clinical recommendations that are applicable to health care providers who care for patients with concussions in all settings.
The guideline provides the following key practice-changing recommendations:
- Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose.
- Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
- Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery, including: a history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptom presentation immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history (such as learning difficulties and family and social stressors).
- Provide patients with instructions on returning to activity customized to their symptoms.
- Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2–3 days of rest.
Free tools were also developed by the CDC to assist health care providers use this guideline in their practice and include:
- A checklist for health care providers on diagnosis and management;
- Quick guides to key recommendations;
- Patient discharge instructions;
- Recovery tips for parents; and
- A letter to schools to be filled in by health care providers.