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Teens who rest less after a concussion recover faster

On Jan. 5, it was reported teens in North Carolina and elsewhere who suffer mild concussions may recover better with less rest. In order to test this, researchers compared the severity and longevity of symptoms experienced by teens who were told to rest for five days versus those who were told to rest for only one or two days.

In order to study the effects of rest following a concussion, 88 patients who were ages 11 to 22 were divided into two treatment categories. One group was ordered to strict bed rest for five days, which included no work, school or physical activity. The other group was assigned to one or two days of rest followed by a gradual return to activity.

Ultimately, the teens who were told to rest for five days showed no difference in mental function or balance compared to those who were told to rest for less. Additionally, they reported more symptoms of mild brain injuries that lasted for a longer period of time. The physical symptoms that were reported included fatigue, headache and sensitivity to light and sound, while emotional symptoms were reported to last up to 10 days after the concussion occurred. It was thought that these results occurred because having the teens focus on the symptoms made those symptoms worse, while those who engaged in mental activity were not focusing on their symptoms.

If someone suffers a brain injury and a doctor fails to diagnose the injury or properly treat it, the patient might have the grounds to initiate a medical malpractice suit against the physician and relevant medical facility. Because brain injuries could result in severe permanent disabilities, the patient may potentially seek compensation for certain damages including the cost of their treatment and lost wages if they can no longer work.

Source: US News, "Extra Bed Rest May Not Be Best for Kids With Concussions", Steven Reinberg, January 05, 2015

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