Inappropriate discharge instructions for youth athletes hospitalized for concussion

Academic Article


  • Objective. To evaluate the medical care, especially the discharge instructions regarding return to participation, received by youth athletes hospitalized for a closed head injury. Methods. We examined the records of all patients admitted over a 5-year period (1987 through 1991) to The Children's Hospital of Alabama for a sports-related closed head injury. Descriptive information was recorded and discharge instructions reviewed. Injury severity was graded according to guidelines current during the study period, as well as those outlined most recently by the Colorado Medical Society, which have been endorsed by a number of organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics. Discharge instructions recorded for each patient were then compared with those recommended in the guidelines. Results. We identified 33 patients with sports-related closed head injuries. Grade 1 concussions (least severe) occurred in 8 patients (24.2%), grade 2 in 10 (30.3%), and grade 3 (most severe) in 15 (45.4%). Overall, discharge instructions were appropriate for only 10 patients (30.3%), including all with grade 1 concussions, but only 2 with a grade 2 (20.0%) and none with a grade 3 concussion. Conclusion. All who care for youth athletes must become familiar with the guidelines for management of concussion to provide appropriate care and counseling and to avoid a tragic outcome.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Author List

  • Genuardi FJ; King WD
  • Start Page

  • 216
  • End Page

  • 218
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • 2