Concussions #3

By Kate Fatica posted 04-16-2019 15:41


Community Outreach for Concussion
Managing concussions properly in the school setting is challenging.  It becomes even more challenging when there are still so many misconceptions and outdated recommendations floating around in the community.  To address the need for parent and physician education within our area, our district Brain Injury Resource Team formed a Community Outreach Work-group.  This small work-group meets monthly to discuss areas of need and formulate plans for addressing them within the community.

One of the things our work-group has done is organize free 1-hour presentations on concussion that parents and other community members can attend.  This session is aimed at providing the most up-to-date science and information on concussion, as well as explaining how we can help in the school setting.  These events have taken place both at high schools within the district and at community rec centers in the area.

Another huge portion of the work that the Community Outreach Work-group is doing is making a plan for how to educate Emergency Departments, Urgent Cares, and Primary Care Physicians about the most evidence-based recommendations for concussion.  Currently, we see concussion discharge recommendations that are all over the board. Some write for clearance after an initial evaluation, some write for return to physical activity after a certain number of days without a reevaluation, and some write very prescriptive school recommendations that can make it challenging for us to carry out the Return to Learn Process.  By giving each of these groups targeted information and recommendations, our hope is that it will improve the overall care of students diagnosed with concussion in our district. We are hoping to gain a lot of headway on this portion of our work over the upcoming summer months.

In general, this work would not be possible without the collaboration of our community partners at three big medical facilities in our area.  They help to bridge the gap to the various providers within the community, among several other valuable things. I would strongly suggest that anyone wishing to address challenges around this diagnosis within their own community consider making similar connections, as well.  We tend to work with speech pathologists and trauma outreach coordinators, who are already doing this same type of work for their hospital systems. We also collaborate very closely with a physician who specializes in sports medicine and concussion.

This is a rather complex part of the work that we are trying to do and therefore I was unable to get into too much detail in one blog post.  However, I felt it was important to try to convey a general overview of this work, as I think it's likely needed in many communities.  Please let me know if you have any questions or further information regarding this post, and I would happy to share insight and information that we have learned through this process.