The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
A new study by Tel Aviv University, Kaplan Medical Center and Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) found that one in four children (25.3%) who have been discharged from the emergency room after a mild head injury are misdiagnosed and continue to suffer from persistent post-concussion syndrome for many years. This syndrome includes chronic symptoms such as forgetfulness, memory problems, sensitivity to light and noise, ADHD, and even psychological problems and, instead of receiving treatment for the syndrome, they are mistakenly diagnosed as suffering from ADHD, sleep disorders, depression, etc. The misdiagnosis leads to treatment that is not suited to the problem, thus causing the children prolonged suffering.
The results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The study examined 200 children who suffered from a head injury and who were released from the emergency room after the need for medical intervention was ruled out. The researchers tracked the subjects for a period between six months and three years from their date of discharge and found that about one in four children released from the emergency room suffered from the chronic syndrome.
“It should be understood that the consequences of brain injury during childhood continue throughout life,” says Dr. Uri Bella, Director of the Pediatric Emergency Room at the Kaplan Medical Center. “Loss of any brain function will prevent the child from realizing his or her potential in education and in social life.”
“The purpose of an emergency room diagnosis is to determine whether the child suffers from a severe brain injury that requires immediate medical intervention,” adds Prof. Eran Kotzer, Director of the Emergency Rooms at the Shamir Medical Center. “Unfortunately, the way most medical systems operate today, we miss long-term effects and do not continue to monitor those children who leave the emergency room without visible motor impairment.”