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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News Summary for October 6, 2011

1. Traumatic Brain Injuries from Sports and Recreation Activities Among Persons Aged ≤19 Years — United States, 2001–2009

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286

During the last decade, emergency department visits for sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions, increased by 60 percent (from 153,375 in 2001 to 248,418 in 2009) among children and adolescents. Bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball, and soccer are the most common activities involved. Growing research, from the sports fields to the classroom, is helping to understand that young athletes with a TBI experience longer recovery times and are at greater risk of serious outcomes. TBI symptoms may appear mild, but this injury can lead to significant, life-long impairment affecting an individual’s memory, behavior, learning, and/or emotions. Appropriate diagnosis and management are critical for helping young athletes with a TBI recover quickly and fully. Health care professionals play a key role in helping keep athletes healthy and active by appropriately identifying, diagnosing, and managing TBI when it does occur.

2. Illness and Injury from Swimming Pool Disinfectants and Other Chemicals — United States, 2002–2008

CDC Division of News and Electronic Media
(404) 639-3286

Illness or injury can result when pool disinfectants and other chemicals are stored or used improperly, and when they are handled or applied by untrained persons or persons not using appropriate personal protective equipment. Over 28,000 cases of injury associated with pool chemical exposures are estimated to have occurred in the US between 2002 and 2008, based on projections from a nationally representative sample of hospital emergency rooms and a state-based injury and illness surveillance system. Cases most frequently involved exposures to pool chemicals at private residences, and symptoms most frequently included respiratory symptoms, eye injuries, and skin injuries. Factors included mixing incompatible products, spills/splashes of chemicals, and lack of proper training or supervision. Up to 40 percent of the illnesses were work-related, and factors included failure to use personal protective equipment, failure of application equipment, and mixing incompatible products. The findings suggest that illness and injury can be prevented through better chemical handling practices, pool chemical container and label redesign, and engineering controls, such as adding devices to pools to prevent the mixing of incompatible products.

3. Health Plan Implementation of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force A and B Recommendations — Colorado, 2010

Mark Salley
Director of Communications
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
(303) 692-2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires commercial health plans to cover services recommended for routine use by the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) (A and B recommendations) at no cost to the consumer. The recommendations of the USPSTF are generally not written in health plan language and certain recommendations such as tobacco screening and counseling, obesity screening and counseling, and colorectal cancer screening, were not uniformly interpreted by health plan administrators. This inconsistency creates the possibility of confusion for the consumer and provider which may lead to underuse of the recommended services. This report outlines how public health could work with health plans to define minimum baseline standards for all A and B recommended services required by PPACA.

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