APTA Members Selected to Serve on Pediatric TBI Workgroup

CDC Workgroup to Establish Clinical Guidelines for Care of Youth With Mild TBI. 

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, Oct. 1, 2012 — APTA members John DeWitt, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, and Anne Mucha, PT, DPT, MS, NCS, were selected to serve on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline Workgroup. They will represent the role of physical therapists in concussion management among more than 50 experts in the field of traumatic brain injury.

The new workgroup will develop national guidelines to help clinicians care for children and teens with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). These guidelines will lay the foundation for all 50 states to implement a standard and protect young individuals. The clinical guidelines are scheduled to be released in Spring 2014 and be used in physicians' and other health care providers' offices and emergency departments nationwide.

Physical therapists provide a unique contribution to the concussion care multidisciplinary team, particularly in the area of vestibular evaluation and rehabilitation. According to DeWitt, team leader for clinical development and director of physical therapy residencies at The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Center, "Concussions are complex injuries, so a team of multidisciplinary health care providers is in the best position to evaluate and manage a patient with concussion. Young participants in sports and other physical activities should to be screened by a qualified health care professional trained in concussion management to determine if they should be removed from their activity and when it's safe to return."

This initiative was a major component of the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act, legislation that was not passed into law but was supported by APTA in past congressional sessions. Mucha, PT, MS, NCS, physical therapist for the Centers for Rehab Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, explained, "Clinical guidelines currently exist for adults with mild TBI, but there are no US guidelines for children and teens. This work comes as concussion policies have come to the forefront on the local, state, and national levels and as the number of cases of children and teens with mild TBI increase."

For more information on how a physical therapist can evaluate and treat many problems related to concussion, visit APTA's Physical Therapist's Guide to Concussion.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 80,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about the conditions that physical therapists can treat, and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com. Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@moveforwardpt) and Facebook.

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