Concussion Referral and Practice Patterns by Pediatric Emergency Medicine Providers

Although concussion is commonly encountered in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM), not much is known regarding referral patterns from PEM to specialists. In order to address this, a study led by PISC Senior Scholar Daniel Corwin, MD, aimed to better understand such patterns. The study collected data from a cross-sectional survey of PEM providers, who were recruited from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine Listserv. After analyzing the responses, the study found that factors most often reported to assist in referral decisions were history of severe or multiple prior concussions, prolonged symptom duration, and severity of current symptoms. It also found that most providers felt specialty referral was important, but that standardized symptom scales, vestibular and balance assessments, and prognostic tools were infrequently used, among other results. These results imply that although most PEM providers had experience and confidence in managing pediatric concussion, they forwent standardized assessment tools and instead used risk stratification tools.

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