Management strategies and medication use for treating paediatric patients with concussions

Acta Paediatr -


Kinnaman, K. A., R. C. Mannix, R. D. Comstock and W. P. Meehan, 3rd.



AIM: To assess management strategies for paediatric patients suffering from concussions. METHODS: A 17-item questionnaire was distributed to 1305 section members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Sections on Adolescent Health, Sports Medicine and Fitness, Community Pediatrics and School Health. The use of medications, neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging and published guidelines in concussion management was queried. RESULTS: Two hundred and twenty respondents (17%) completed the questionnaire, of which 64% had been an attending for greater than 10 years. A majority of respondents (92%) managed patients with concussions, with 26% treating more than 24 patients per year. Most paediatricians (84%) reported using a published guideline. The majority of respondents (89%) manage the symptoms of concussed patients with medications, most commonly acetaminophen (62%) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (54%). The use of prescriptions medications such as tricyclic antidepressants (23%), amantadine (10%) and methylphenidate (8%) was also commonly reported. Paediatricians treating >16 patients per year with concussion were more likely to prescribe tricyclic antidepressants, stimulants and agents used for sleep disturbance. CONCLUSION: Paediatricians nationwide routinely use medications when managing patients with concussions. The pharmacological agents used differ according to number of patients treated per year. In addition, most paediatricians use published guidelines in concussion management.

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