Concussion is a common occurrence in youth; with a conservative estimate of 441-754 diagnoses per 100,000 pediatric emergency room visits. However there remains a dearth of services for this particular population and families are often left wondering what to do and where to go for guidance and care. Launched in 2014, the Concussion Centre at Holland Bloorview, Canada’s largest rehabilitation hospital for kids with disabilities, aims to address this critical gap while further advancing pediatric concussion research and education. Holland Bloorview has developed an innovative concussion care program. This leading practice is the first of its kind in Canada and consists of four components all designed to improve clinical outcomes and access to care for children with concussion and their families. 1. Pre-injury baseline concussion test: Involves the collection of a series of objective measures used to get a picture of brain and body performance prior to an injury. Should a child sustain a concussion, the test is repeated and the post-injury scores are compared to baseline scores. This information, along with a more comprehensive evaluation, assists a physician in making a more informed return to activity decision. 2. Concussion education: Integrated throughout the program. Includes group or individual education and support sessions focused on concussion management. The sessions are free and can also be accessed through live webinar 5 days per week. These sessions ensure families receive something meaningful immediately so that they can start to execute a plan to help with recovery. 3. Early post-Injury care: Youth ages 8-18 years of age receive physician-led follow-up care, by referral, from a pediatric neurologist or pediatric physiatrist as well as guided return to school, re-assessment (to baseline test) and other functional tests with an occupational therapist. 4. Persistent concussion care: Should youth become persistent (symptoms lasting 4 weeks or longer) they would access a multi-disciplinary consultation service that involves additional individualized care from pediatric neurology, developmental pediatrics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, and neuropsychology. This program exemplifies true integration of research and clinical care to ensure continual evolution and enhanced care for concussed youth. To date this program has received feedback from over 1,950 stakeholders, provided baseline testing to over 4,380 youth, treated over 165 clients for early care services, provided education and support sessions to over 850 individuals and treated over 227 youth in the persistent concussion care clinic.
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