The prevalence of undiagnosed concussions in athletes.
Concussions are a hot topic with athletes of all ages in many sports having sustained this injury. The effects seem to be worse in college-aged and younger athletes and one of the biggest challenges being faced by clinicians is under-reporting of concussions. Some studies show up to half of high school football players sustaining a concussion didn't report their symptoms.
The authors of this study wanted to determine the incidence of undiagnosed concussions in athletes. 731 athletes at 2 sports concussion clinics were surveyed and asked the question, ‘have you ever sustained a blow to the head which was not diagnosed as a concussion but was followed by 1 or more signs and symptoms listed in the post concussion symptom scale (PCSS)?’ Although not statistically significant, one third (148) athletes responded ‘yes’ to the question and were defined as having an undiagnosed concussion. The authors also found previously undiagnosed concussions to be associated with higher PCSS scores and higher loss of consciousness rates with subsequent concussions.
It is important for all clinicians dealing with athletes, especially adolescents, to ask about possible concussions and their associated signs and symptoms and to keep in mind that many athletes don’t report them >From Meehan et al. Clin J Sports Med 23 (2013) 339-342. All rights reserved to Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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