The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study in May 2018 examining the treatment patterns from more than 800 people who suffered a mild head injury. The study can be found here:
The study found low rates of follow-up care in these instances, noting that less than half of the patients reported receiving additional education materials in the Emergency Room. These included patients with positive findings on head CT scans and who were reporting clear post-concussive symptoms. Researches found that only 39% of patients who had a diagnosis of head trauma verified with a CT scan received care from a doctor for that injury within the 90 days following the injury.
Most patients that did receive follow up care reported it as being helpful.
Because research supports that suffering head trauma can cause serious long-term effects, including leading to dementia later in life, getting proper treatment at the time of injury is very important.
While major obvious brain trauma appears to be properly treated, instances where the injury is not as observable, but determined by an analysis of the symptoms, is still resulting in poor follow-up care. As a patient, this lack of care and attention shifts the responsibility to the injured person to follow up on. Unfortunately, someone who is suffering from confusion, inability to concentrate, short term memory impairment, less control over their emotions and mood, etc., is exhibiting symptoms that interfere with one’s ability to make good decisions and seek appropriate medical care. If doctors don’t also see the importance of the symptoms in real time and stress the importance of follow-up care, then people will continue to suffer the long term and unabated effects of a brain injury.