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Learn About the National Concussion Surveillance System

 March 28, 2019

By  Deborah L Weiner Katz, OTR/L, CCM, CLCP

A National Concussion Surveillance System will be implemented, thanks to the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was passed this December and signed by President Trump. It will be able to accurately determine how many Americans get a concussion each year and determine the cause. What are the origins of this state-of-art system?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is naturally concerned about concussion and other traumatic brain injuries. It is committed to helping Americans who are concerned and seeking answers. In the fall of 2018, it began pilot testing a survey about TBI experience by children and adults. The results will be used to refine plans for the NCSS, which will help improve prevention, care and recovery efforts currently underway at CDC. It will also do the same among any group invested in helping those who experience a TBI.

The results of a national system are expected to inform and equip community and state leaders across the country. For the first time ever, true national estimates of the number of people living with a disability cause by a brain injury will be available. More specifically, the NCSS will provide the first national estimates of sports-related concussions among youth that occur both in and outside of organized sports.

The amount of valuable data extends even further. We will be able to determine the most common cause of injury for concussion, whether that be motor vehicle crashes, falls or self-harm. Experts will likely use the system to monitor trends, in order to understand whether the number of concussions is increasing or decreasing. They should even be able to assess whether prevention efforts are working.

For healthcare providers like us, as well as hospitals, we hope to gain insight into where patients seek care for concussion and their recovery needs. As can be seen in our blog, TBI is a topic we are extremely passionate about. The developments of December 2018 have injected a great deal of hope into our community.

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