Concussion and the Adolescent Athlete

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Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex and debilitating neurological injury that places a significant financial and emotional burden on both families and medical providers. Accumulating evidence suggests that mild TBI or concussion remains grossly underdiagnosed, as compared with more severe TBI, due to a poor understanding of the clinical signs and symptoms involved with a head injury. Notably, pediatric head injury may be associated with the subsequent development of serious, long-term neurological consequences, emphasizing the need for improved diagnosis and acute medical intervention. The purpose of this minireview is to summarize the association between participation in youth athletics and the occurrence of concussions, a primary source of mild TBI in the adolescent population, with the goal of increasing awareness within the nursing profession for this clinically important yet underdiagnosed form of brain injury.

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