A recent investigation suggests that around 2 million teenagers and kids, in the United States, might have suffered from brain injuries without proper treatment.  Researchers assure these cases have been present for years.

Children and teenagers might have been experiencing sports-and-recreation-related concussions (SRRCs), every year. According to a research made by the University of Washington and the Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

The research led by researchers at intends to shed light on what many doctors may ignore, sports-related concussions in teenagers. Image Credit: Homeworld
The research led by researchers at intends to shed light on what many doctors may ignore, sports-related concussions in teenagers. Image Credit: Homeworld

The research has estimated around 1,240,972 cases of SRRCs every year in children below 18 years old. This investigation comes as a response to the public concern about the increase meant of SRRCs rates, over the last years.

Investigating brain damage on active teens

Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury, and it can also define as a head injury that results in the temporary loss of brain functions with other physical, cognitive and emotional reactions that, in some cases, can be unrecognized.

In some cases, brain injuries can stretch and cause damages to cells in the brain, which causes chemical changes in the organ and result in complications.

A team of researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Colorado gathered to study data belonging to SRRCs cases in teenagers.

Researchers used as a source data from different hospitals,  records from doctor visits and athletic trainers to determine that 2 million U.S teens suffer unrecognized concussions, every year in the country.

Three nation-wide databases were used to determine the amount of youth concussions in the country. Researchers found that within shock patients, 378,000 of them were seen and evaluated by doctors, 115,000 treated in emergency and 5,000 hospitalized.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in how many concussions from sports and recreation occur each year because many concussions are not reported,” said Dr. Mersine Bryan lead researcher of the investigation.

After investigating head injuries reported to athletic trainers, researchers determined that between 500,000 and 1.2 million concussions were reported to them.  These numbers are equivalent to only 23 to 25 percent of SRRC cases. The team of investigators stated that many concussion cases are not being labeled as such, because of the codes doctors use in medical forms.  Impacts are tagged depending on the events that occur before the injury.

Doctors tag concussions as sports-related if the patient recognizes playing a sport, falling or collision in the labeled area.  Other tags included recreational injuries, related to playgrounds and different activities such as skateboarding, running, and others.

“The main problem I have with these estimates is that they are based on diagnostic codes, many doctors do not use the code for a concussion,” said Dr. John Kuluz the director of the traumatic brain injury section at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.

The researchers assured the importance of an early recognition of a concussion and the pertinence of a correct education on the subject for both parents and children. To avoid mistreatment in this delicate matter, quickly addressing any brain abnormality in people who suffered concussions is paramount.

Recent investigations on the matter, have also studied mistreated numbers of concussions for decades in professional football players

Source: CBS News