Authors: Clementine Koa Affana (Roseau, Dominica)
Introduction: Pediatric concussions have become a major health concern with a 71% increase in diagnoses in children ages 10 to 19. With the long-term cognitive effects of repeated concussions, assessing the lifetime risk of students athletes of developing a concussion is crucial. Our goal was to assess if there was an association between past history of concussions and involvement in specific sports. Methods: As part of a larger sports concussion study, student athletes at 6 area high schools and 1 college (ages 12 to 23) in Minneapolis completed a demographic survey which involved the preliminary portion of the Boston Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury - Lifetime (BAT-L). Sports included football, soccer, hockey, volleyball, tennis, cross country and swimming. The survey provided a detailed assessment of past TBI episodes (timeline, severity and symptoms duration). Results: 222 subjects completed the survey (mean age of 16.27), 61.3% of those were males. 54 (26.1%) reported having had at least one concussion in the past. Males were more likely to have had a past history of concussion than females (30.1% vs 15.5%), older subjects reported more concussions (32.1% in those 18 or older and 19.1% were younger than 18). The most common causes of past concussions were sports (77%) followed by falls (9%) and motor vehicle accidents (5%). Other causes accounted for 9% of past concussions. Football and soccer players had more reported episodes compared to other sports (football: 12, soccer: 15, volleyball: 3, hockey: 1, tennis: 0, cross-country: 0, swimming: 0), and soccer players reported having had multiple episodes of concussion in their lifetime compared to other sports. Conclusion: Preliminary data demonstrates that older students athletes that play football are more likely to have experienced multiple concussions in their lifetime. Efforts should be made to reinforce preventive measures at earlier stages of sports involvement.