Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex and debilitating neurological injury that places a significant financial and emotional burden on both families and medical providers. Accumulating evidence suggests that mild TBI or concussion remains grossly underdiagnosed, as compared with more severe TBI, due to a poor understanding of the clinical signs and symptoms involved with a head injury. Notably, pediatric head injury may be associated with the subsequent development of serious, long-term neurological consequences, emphasizing the need for improved diagnosis and acute medical intervention. The purpose of this minireview is to summarize the association between participation in youth athletics and the occurrence of concussions, a primary source of mild TBI in the adolescent population, with the goal of increasing awareness within the nursing profession for this clinically important yet underdiagnosed form of brain injury.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Donald E. Kimbler, MSN CRNA, at email@example.com. He is a graduate student in the Department of Neurosurgery, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA.
Marguerite Murphy, DNP, is an associate professor in the School of Nursing, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA.
Krishnan M. Dhandapani, PhD MS, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA.
This project is sponsored, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01NS065172) and from the TriService Nursing Research Program, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The information, content, and conclusions do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by the TriService Nursing Research Program, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.