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Public Health Approach to Reducing TBI – Update from CDC

Ongoing efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the population impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are documented in the May/June issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, official journal of the Brain Injury Association of America. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

“This special issue draws attention to the need for strategies to prevent TBI and to lessen the substantial physical, psychological, economic, and social effects among people who experience it,” write co-editors Jeneita M. Bell, MD, MPH and Christopher A. Taylor, PhD of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. CDC is tasked with working to reduce the incidence of TBI by the federal Traumatic Brain Injury Act, passed by Congress in 1996 and renewed multiple times since.

New Research toward Reducing the Burden of TBI CDC’s strategic plan for TBI aims to achieve the greatest possible reductions in deaths and negative health effects of all TBIs, including concussions. The four pillars of CDC’s strategic plan for TBI are:

(1) improving the understanding of the public health burden of TBI, (2) reducing the incidence of TBI through primary prevention, (3) improving recognition and management of mild TBI (i.e., concussion), and (4) promoting healthy lifestyles and improving health outcomes for people living with TBI.

The special issue highlights new research focusing on this public health approach to TBI. Topics include:

  • A new data source (the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project [HCUP]) that improves TBI monitoring nationwide. The large size of the HCUP databases will aid in understanding TBI’s impact in population subgroups.
  • The problem of unemployment after TBI. New data show that 60 percent of patients who received inpatient rehabilitation for TBI are still unemployed two years after discharge.
  • Motorcycle crashes as a cause of TBI. People injured in motorcycle crashes use more healthcare resources and are three times more likely to die in the emergency department, compared to those with other causes of TBI.
  • The high impact of sports — and recreation-related TBIs. About seven percent of all emergency department visits for sports — and recreation-related injuries are TBIs, with at least 3.4 million sports — and recreation-related TBI emergency department visits occurring over a 12-year study period.
  • The effectiveness of CDC’s HEADS UP new online course. This course — part of CDC’s HEADS UP educational campaign — aims to improve recognition and management of concussion in sports. Results suggest that the course increases concussion-related knowledge among coaches and others involved a wide range of sports.

CDC has partnered with the traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation communities in order to implement a broader public health approach to TBI — especially in mitigating the severity of TBI and reducing its impact on quality of life. “JHTR is pleased to again provide a forum for the dissemination of scholarly works from our colleagues at CDC,” comments John D. Corrigan, PhD, ABPP, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. “The Editors applaud their emphasis on translating what we know about TBI into measures to decrease the burden of injury on individuals, families, and society.”

Click here to read the special issue.

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AMSSM Recognizes Concussion-Oriented Research at Annual Meeting

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) presented the following awards during its 24th Annual Meeting at the Diplomat Resort and Spa on Sunday.

Best Overall Research Award – M. Alison Brooks, MD, MPH for her research titled, “Establishing the Psychometric Properties of the Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (Child SCAT3).” For more on her, visit: http://ortho.wisc.edu/Home/FacultyResearch/FacultyandScientists/MAlisonBrooks.aspx

Harry Galanty Young Investigator Award – Michael Donaworth, MD for his research titled, “The Use of Vision Training as a Means of Decreasing Concussion Incidence in Football.” For more on him, visit: http://uchealth.com/physician/michael-donaworth/?ref=35&site=30

The Harry L. Galanty, MD Young Investigator’s Award is presented at the Annual Meeting for the most outstanding research presentation by a member who is a sports medicine fellow or who has recently completed fellowship training. The award was established in 2003 to honor Harry Galanty, MD, a charter member of the AMSSM, who passed away in 1999 at the age 36. Dr. Galanty’s contributions to sports medicine combined service and a commitment to teaching and research.

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Getting to Know Sports Concussion Lawyer Steven Pachman

(Editor’s note: What follows is the introduction to an interview that appeared in the February issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

Steven Pachman is a partner in the Litigation Department at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, where he has represented individuals and school systems in sports injury cases arising out of alleged premature return-to-play decisions and other negligence theories.

Given that background, Concussion Litigation Reporter sought him out for an exclusive interview.

Question: When did you know you want to practice law? And why did you decide to practice law?

Answer: I took an “Introduction to Law” course my junior year in college at the University of Maryland, College Park. My professor was impressed with my work, and suggested that I try out for the university’s prestigious mock trial team. I not only made the school’s team, but I ultimately was selected as a member of the specific team that went on to compete in the Finals Round and won the American Mock Trial Association Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. I had such a positive experience that I decided that I wanted to eventually become a litigator and so I applied to law school. After graduation, I started practicing law in Philadelphia, where I still practice 19 years later.

(For the rest of the interview, please subscribe to CLR)

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