WakeMed Concussion Clinic Tackles Young Athletes’ Injuries Head-on
RALEIGH, N.C. (August 25, 2009) – As the high school sports season begins, WakeMed Health & Hospitals announces it has established a Concussion Clinic to diagnose and manage concussions in young athletes and determine when they can safely return to participate in sports.
In 2008, The North Carolina High School Athletic Association mandated that school athletes with concussion-like symptoms not return to the field until cleared by a physician. And in 2008, according to the Thompson Emergency Department Database, 1,318 Wake County patients ages 0 to 17 were seen and discharged from emergency departments with a diagnosis of concussion or closed head injury.
“Concussions need to be taken very seriously,” commented Dr. John Wooten, pediatric neurologist with Raleigh Neurology Associates and medical director of the WakeMed Concussion Clinic. “A lack of proper diagnosis and management can result in long-term consequences, risk of coma or even death. This new clinic brings together a highly-skilled, specially-trained team of clinical resources to ensure that our student athletes receive the highest level of care to ensure their safety and future well being.”
Along with Dr. Wooten, WakeMed has assigned a team of occupational and physical therapists and speech language pathologists to conduct the neurocognitive and functional assessments of the pediatric patients suffering from concussions. Clinic staff will also focus on community education for young athletes as well as their parents, coaches and athletic trainers.
A concussion is a brain injury resulting from a sudden impact to the head or body where the brain stops working normally after it crashes into the skull. Typical symptoms of a concussion are unconsciousness, feeling confused or light-headed and inability to stand or walk. However, some people show no symptoms after the impact and it can be difficult to tell if someone has had a concussion.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1.6-3.8 million recreation-related concussions occur each year in the United States and 5 to13 percent of these injuries result in an emergency department visit.
The WakeMed Concussion Clinic is located in the therapy treatment space in the Health Park on the WakeMed Raleigh Campus. The hours of operation for the clinic are Tuesdays, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm (appointments 5-7 pm) and Saturdays, 8:00 am to 11:30 pm (appointments 8:30 -11am). To make an appointment, please call 919-350-4340.
About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals, one of the first hospital systems in the country, is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C.
The 804-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties, including: a Level I Trauma Center and tertiary referral hospital and rehabilitation hospital in Raleigh, a community hospital in Cary, comprehensive outpatient centers and freestanding emergency departments in North Raleigh and Apex, seven outpatient rehabilitation sites, two skilled-nursing and outpatient facilities, a 100+-physician multispecialty practice, and home health services. The system includes accredited Chest Pain Centers and Joint Commission-certified Stroke Center.
Throughout the system, there are an additional 66 beds under construction and 41 beds recently approved by the state. WakeMed also provides management services for Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn, NC. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopaedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs.
WakeMed’s team of 7,000 nurses, technologists and medical support staff and more than 1,000 affiliated physicians serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies and facilities to ensure the finest in health care.