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Dr. Sara GouldEach year in the U.S., 1.6–3.8 million sports-related concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries are reported. Concussions in pediatric patients can be especially concerning for parents, coaches, and physicians.

In fact, is reported that, annually, children younger than 15 account for an estimated 500,000 visits to the emergency department. Gould seeks to lessen the burden of these visits on the health care system while simultaneously improving patients’ symptoms associated with concussions, specifically headaches.

In her most recent research, Gould and her colleagues sought to determine the relative efficacy of intravenous (IV) therapy for postconcussive headaches in a pediatric population, as compared to oral therapy.

According to the researchers, postconcussive headaches are typically treated using acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the management of sport-related concussion. But, they believed that is was possible to treat these headaches more effectively using IV therapy with a selected mix of mediciations.

Ultimately, Gould and her colleagues found that infusion therapy is as effective at reducing headache score and symptom severity score as established oral therapies.

They conclude that infusion therapy may have a shorter time to headache abortion than oral therapy based on pharmacokinetics. And, coaches and athletes could argue its main benefit is that an infusion could allow a more rapid return to play and resolution of symptoms for athletes, since some physicians are unwilling to allow an athlete to return to play while taking suppressive medication as part of oral treatments.

To read the entire study, visit the Child’s Nervous System journal, a publication of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery.