Concussion: Why Nurses Need to Understand This Hidden Injury
On the spectrum of brain injury classification, a concussion is labeled as a "mild traumatic brain injury" (mTBI), yet if not managed properly, it can lead to prolonged symptoms, and less commonly, to serious chronic impairments. Concussions are not revealed on standard neuro-imaging, and symptoms can be numerous, variable, and often subtle; thus, it is referred to as 'the hidden injury.' Children experiencing a concussion often exhibit unique vulnerabilities and challenges in the context of a developing brain. In the face of an increasing incidence of concussions in children and adolescents, and concerns about sports participation by parents and caregivers, it is crucial that pediatric nurses be knowledgeable about current recommendations and best practice to recognize, manage, and educate patients, families, and significant others to promote best outcomes.