Beyond the Headlines
Everyday we read about the widespread concern of sports-related concussions, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The majority of concussions can be attributed to a variety of other circumstances.
Concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) have become a global epidemic that occurs more frequently than strokes and heart attacks combined.
The medical community and the public are quickly gaining awareness of the frequency rate, as well as the harmful effects of Traumatic Brain Injury.The most prevalent form of TBI is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, commonly referred to as a concussion, representing roughly 85% of all TBI.
A TBI occurs every 15 seconds in the U.S. alone:
- Resulting in over 10 million concussions a year
- Driving over 4 million people to go to the ER
- Creating $76 billion each year in direct and indirect costs
- Resulting in over 4 million head CT scans annually
Current Diagnosis: Subjective and Inaccurate
- Today, concussions are still being diagnosed with subjective, symptom-based tests. As a result, a significant percentage of concussions are under diagnosed.
- A University of Washington study demonstrated a 56% misdiagnosis rate of concussions in the emergency room setting.
Under Diagnosis: A Significant Concern
- After a first concussion there is 2x the risk of a second, and 4x the risk for a third concussion.
- Multiple concussions can lead to long-term neurological impairment and even death.
CT Scans: Overused, Inadequate, Expensive, Harmful
- CT imaging remains an inadequate diagnostic tool for concussion due to its low sensitivity, lack of resolution and its impact on patient safety.
- Despite the millions of CT scans performed for TBI, only 8% detect bleeding and only 1% of patients receiving a CT require a surgical procedure.
- Radiation from one head CT scan is equivalent to about 200 chest X-rays.