Concussion Symptoms Linger for About One in Five Children

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Concussion Symptoms Linger for About One in Five Children
Concussion Symptoms Linger for About One in Five Children

(HealthDay News) — For pediatric patients with concussion, symptoms can persist for more than a month, according to a study published online May 12 in Pediatrics.

Matthew A. Eisenberg, MD, from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues conducted secondary analysis of a prospective cohort of 11–22-year-old patients presenting with an acute concussion to the emergency department of a children's hospital. Baseline assessments included the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire, which was then serially administered for three months post-injury or until complete resolution of all symptoms.

The researchers found that the most common symptoms encountered at presentation were headache, fatigue, dizziness, and taking longer to think. The symptoms that were most likely to develop during follow-up, that had not initially been present, included sleep disturbance, frustration, forgetfulness, and fatigue. Nausea, depression, dizziness, and double-vision abated most quickly, while other symptoms lasted longer: irritability (median duration, 16 days), sleep disturbance (16 days), frustration (14 days), and poor concentration (14 days). One month after concussion, almost one-quarter of children complained of headache; fatigue affected >20%; and almost 20% stated taking longer to think.

"Among patients presenting to a pediatric emergency department after a concussion, physical symptoms such as headache predominate immediately after the injury, emotional symptoms tend to develop later in the recovery period, and cognitive symptoms may be present throughout," the authors write.

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