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Accuracy of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosis

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A mild traumatic brain (TBI) injury cannot be treated unless it is first diagnosed.  Accurate identification and diagnosis of a mild TBI is the first step toward providing appropriate clinical care. 

For that reason, the 2008 journal article from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, “accuracy of mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis,” is particularly troubling.  The article found that “Fifty-six percent of mild TBI cases identified by study personnel did not have a documented mild TBI-related diagnosis in the ED record.” 

This illuminating article concluded that, “The diagnosis of mild TBI was frequently absent from emergency department (ED) medical records despite patients reporting findings consistent with a mild TBI diagnosis when interviewed by study personnel. Asking a few targeted questions of ED patients with likely mechanisms of injury that could result in mild TBI could begin to improve diagnosis and, in turn, begin to improve patient management and the accuracy of estimates of mild TBI incidence.”

For the complete text of this article, click here.


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