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Clinical Diagnosis and Management

Clinicians play a key role in helping to identify, diagnose and manage traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). They can also help improve patient outcomes when a TBI is suspected or diagnosed by implementing early management and appropriate referral.

Each year, an estimated 1.7 million TBI-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits occur in the U.S.  This data translates to 52,000 deaths and 275,000 hospitalizations. In addition, nearly 80%, 1.365 million people are treated and released from an emergency department. The majority of TBIs that occur each year are diagnosed as mil TBIs (MTBI). In fact, a study found that about 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of MTBI.  While a MTBI is usually not life-threatening, this injury can have serious and long-term impact on a person’s cognitive, physical and psychological function.

Appropriate diagnosis, referral, and patient and family/caregiver education are critical for helping patients with MTBI achieve optimal recovery and to reduce or avoid significant adverse health outcomes. However, diagnosing MTBIs can be challenging as symptoms of MTBI are common to those of other medical conditions and the onset and/or recognition of symptoms may occur days or weeks after the initial injury.

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