Utpal Patel, M.D. is an Internal Medicine physician and ImPact Certified Concussion Specialist at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic. As a concussion specialist, Dr. Patel is passionate about advancing awareness and education of concussions and ImPact evaluations for parents, coaches, athletic trainers, school educators and administrators. On Thursday, April 26th he was invited to speak at Rutherford County Schools’ in-service for elementary, middle and high school nurses.
Dr. Patel reviewed several concussion topics related to these age groups – what to look for, how to treat them, and how to prevent them. While concussions are primarily considered a result of sports injuries, he reminded that student athletes are not the only ones at risk for concussion injuries. Falling off a bike, bumping a head on a locker, or rough-housing with siblings – these can all cause injuries that should be monitored by a medical professional. Dr. Patel noted, “Their brains are still developing at the elementary age – and even middle and high school – so it is important to protect and monitor them.”
One of the most important parts of concussion recovery is communication. This includes communication between medical professionals, athletic trainers, parents, and educators. Clear communication of the type of injury, treatment, and how the child is recovering is key to ensuring the right treatments are taking place. Athletes may be eager to get back on the field following a concussion, but recovery time is unique for every student. Dr. Patel introduced the question, “Who makes the call for them to go back to play? Not the parent or child or coach. This should always be the healthcare professional.”
“Our job is to take care of the athlete and be their advocate….it can be hard sometimes to tell them that they can’t go back in to play,” Dr. Patel remarked. Ultimately the goal as medical professionals, parents, and educators is to look out for the best interest of the student’s future.
About MMC’s Internal and Family Medicine Concussion Specialist
Dr. Patel and his team are part of MMC’s Internal and Family Medicine department. They treat adults age 15 and up with concussion related injuries. In addition, Dr. Patel is a team physician and medical director of athletics for MTSU. With over 25 departments and more than 70 physicians, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic is a trusted partner in treating an individual’s health care needs.
For more information about Dr. Patel’s Concussion Specialist clinic, please visit mmclinic.com or call 615-278-7640 or 615-867-8010.