Adult Emergency Department Physicians

Matthew J Sarsfield, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Matthew J Sarsfield, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Appointed 08/01/02
Women's Health Network
STE200 550 East Genesee Street
550 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

315 464-8668

Current Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • Assistant Residency Program Director of Emergency Medicine

Hospital Campus

Clinical Section Affiliations

  • Women's Health Network: Geriatric Care

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Emergency Medicine


Education & Fellowships

  • Residency: SUNY Upstate Medical University, 2009, Emergency Medicine
  • MD: SUNY Upstate Medical University, 2006
  • BS: Saint Lawrence University, 2002

Clinical Interests

  • Emergency Medicine

Education Interests

  • Resident Education


Specialties & Certification

  • Emergency Medicine

Diseases & Conditions Treated

  • Medical Emergencies


  • Adults and Children


  • Emergency Services


  • Amercian Academy of Emergency Medicine
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Current Hospital Privileges

  • Upstate University Hospital


Evaluation of Emergency Medicine Discharge Instructions in Pediatric Head Injury

Matthew J Sarsfield MD, Eric J Morley MD MS, James Callahan MD, William Grant EdD and Susan Wojcik MS

Study Objectives: Pediatric head trauma is a common occurrence. There is mounting evidence that even minor head injury patients require limits on school activities and/or removal from sports and play to help speed recovery and limit morbidity. The objective of this study was to determine whether discharge instructions given to children who had sustained head injuries included information regarding activity restrictions, activity time constraints, and/or specifics of follow-up care.

Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients aged 2-18 years evaluated and treated for head injury during a 4-month period at a level 1 trauma center (volume ~23,000 pediatric patients per year). Included were those children seen, evaluated, and diagnosed with any of the following: mild head injury, concussion, minor head trauma, or mild traumatic brain injury. Subjects were excluded if there was a positive acute head injury CT finding (other than findings of a simple linear skull fracture) or if the subject required admission.

Results: Among the 204 patients meeting eligibility 95.1% received instruction to follow-up with a physician, 82.8% received anticipatory guidance regarding expected symptoms, 15.2% received specific restriction time from sports, and 21.5% were removed from sports. Of these patients, 113 patients were determined  "likely" to have sustained a concussion. Patients with sports-related concussion received return-to-sports restrictions (chi square = 11.225, p <0.008) and to remove the child from play (chi square = 9.781, p < 0.004) as discharge instructions significantly more than patients with MVA or other mechanisms of injury.

Conclusion: Children sustaining head injury were inadequately instructed to restrict athletic activities upon discharge. This is particularly true for patients who sustain a concussion from non-sports related activity. 

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