-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Only half of U.S. adults who
thought they or their children might have a concussion sought
medical treatment, a finding that suggests many people do not
understand the seriousness of a potential concussion, a new survey
Not thinking the symptoms were serious enough or assuming they
just had a headache were the main reasons people did not seek
treatment for their own possible concussions. Three in five parents
cited the same reasons for not taking children with head injuries
to a doctor.
Seven of 10 respondents incorrectly identified symptoms of
concussion, according to the American Osteopathic Association's
online survey of more than 1,300 people. The findings were
presented at an AOA meeting held in San Diego this week.
Only about one in four children suffered a possible concussion
while playing either a school-related or non-school-related sport.
The survey also found that children who suffer a head injury while
playing sports may be more likely to be evaluated by a medical
professional than those who are injured at home.
More than eight in 10 parents in the survey said their children
were evaluated by a medical professional, coach or event personnel
after they suffered a head injury while playing sports.
Men were more likely than women to report that they had suffered
a concussion at some time in their life. Men and respondents aged
18 to 29, however, were most likely to say they did not seek
treatment after a head injury because they did not believe the
symptoms were serious enough.
About 40 percent of adults said they had suffered a concussion
playing sports, making sports the most common cause of concussion
in adults. About 30 percent of adults said they had suffered a
concussion as the result of accidents at home and away from
People of all ages need to understand the seriousness of head
injuries and see a doctor if they suspect a concussion, said Dr.
Jeffrey Bytomski, an osteopathic family physician and head medical
team physician at Duke University Medical Center in Durham,
"People don't seem to realize how serious a bump or blow to the head can be," Bytomski said in an AOA news release. "It might not seem that serious at the time because they didn't lose consciousness or bleed, but this could be a traumatic brain injury and needs to be evaluated by a medical professional."
Symptoms of concussion can include: pain in area of the head
injury, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, confusion or inability to
focus, and slurred or incoherent speech.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
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