New Study Addresses Treatment for Brain Injuries in High School Students

High school student puts his head down while other classmates happily do work around him

Are Schools Adequately Assisting Teenagers After A Concussion?

The Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) recently received a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the effects of brain injuries on kids returning to high school. Rather than conducting new research to develop new  brain injury protocols or assessment measures, the study is designed to assess the efficacy of existing school programs that help kids return to the classroom and extracurricular activities after suffering a concussion or another form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

According to a recent KTVZ News report, the study will be led by CBIRT Director, Ann Glang, who will work with local university professors and other education specialists to assess how existing models for addressing TBI recovery work. As Glang explained, “this research is unique in that it allows us to evaluate an existing model of support for students with brain injuries, rather than develop a new approach that may take years to translate into practice.” Accordingly, Glang discussed, the study “helps us to close that research-practice gap.”

 As part of the study, the researchers will start with an assessment of how brain injuries are identified and how screening practices are implemented at high schools and in high school sports. They will examine the communication methods that exist between “medical and educational systems” to improve students’ recovery after a head injury or concussion. Next, the researchers will track the progress of students with brain injuries over time as they move through high school. Finally, the study will explore “professional development for school personnel” when it comes to helping students cope with the aftermath of having a concussion or other brain injury, and how effective those programs might be for helping students.

 One school official clarified the importance of this study, noting that “although hospitals treat children and adolescents with TBI in their initial course of recovery, it is ultimately the school system that serves as the long-term provider of services to these students.”

Facts About Brain Injuries

How often do brain injuries happen, and how severe are they? Where do head injuries happen most often? Are some people at greater risk of a concussion than others? The following are key facts and figures about TBIs cited by that help to answer these questions:

  • About 2.8 million people sustain brain injuries every year;
  • Of the people who suffer a TBI, approximately 50,000 will die and 282,000 will be hospitalized;
  • 153 people die every day, on average, from a brain injury;
  • TBIs are contributing factors in about 30% of all reported injury-related deaths;
  • People between the ages of 0-4, 15-19, and 65 and older are at greatest risk of sustaining a brain injury;
  • Approximately 330,000 children aged 19 or younger are treated in emergency departments each year for TBIs resulting from sports or other recreational activities;
  • Adults aged 75 and older are most likely to be hospitalized for a TBI or to suffer a fatal brain injury; and
  • Falls are the leading cause of TBIs (47%), followed by accidents involving being struck by or against an object (15%) and car accidents (14%).

If you sustained a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a brain injury attorney about your options.

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