State's first concussion clinic opens at Carrie Tingley Hospital | KOB 4
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State's first concussion clinic opens at Carrie Tingley Hospital

Emily Jaceks
September 12, 2018 06:04 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Ask any parent and they'll tell you, it's nearly impossible to get a child to sit still.

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“We've recognized that children are just at risk because they're impulsive and active. And the more active you are or the more hyperactive you are, the more you are at risk for sustaining an injury,” Nancy Rasch, Manager for Rehabilitation Services for Carrie Tingley Hospital said,

And brain injuries are more common than parents think.

“Head injuries happen on the playground, head injuries happen from climbing trees…by being on a bicycle…by using a skateboard,” Rasch said. 

While most children fully recover from a concussion, doctors said about 30-percent need long-term care. 

“Kids we see are not one time concussioners. They're three, four...five concussions. So it's substantial. We're not seeing the everyday concussion on the soccer field on a Saturday,” Katie Weems, a Physical Therapist at Carrie Tingley Hospital said. 

And with each new concussion, longer recovery, and more debilitating symptoms.

“But if you don't feel stable in space and if you don't feel like you can move your body, and you feel nauseated, anxious about what's going on around you, you can imagine what it’s like for a smaller child or adolescent who is healthy and an athlete afterwards. It affects everything for them, socially and emotionally,” Rasch said. 

That's where the concussion clinic comes in. 

“We can have them staring at the ‘V’ while trying to see these in their peripheral vision, or they have to track them at the same time,” Weems said, while demonstrating special equipment.

It's a one stop shop where a number of specialists work together on a case based on a patient's symptoms and needs.

“We get to spend an hour with them every time they’re here, which is that's a luxury in the medical world. So I think that's the biggest benefit. We really become part of these families, because some of these recoveries can take a year to two years,” Weems said. 

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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