I read an article recently which stated that the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have changed the guidelines used in diagnosing mild traumatic brain injuries. I think the revised guidelines are great, and will only help to increase the early diagnosis of, and therefore treatment of, the more than one million mild traumatic brain injuries suffered each year.
The actual number of brain injuries suffered each year is actually unknown, since many patients who have an injury never get medical care. The majority of these injuries are classified as mild, meaning the patient is alert, oriented and functional when they are assessed in the emergency department. The hardest part for emergency room staff is identifying which patients with a head injury have an acute traumatic injury and which patients are able to be sent home.