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Concussions In Sports: A Local Level
It seems concussions have been all over the news lately. From NFL football to national auto commercials to high school sports, properly diagnosing and treating concussions is big news. While everyone seems to agree that concussions should be taken seriously, there doesn’t seem to be much consensus on how best to assess concussions or reduce the risk of subsequent concussions in the future.
Researchers from the American Association of Neurosurgeons have found that each season, 20% of high school football players suffer a concussion. Perhaps more troubling is a Canadian study of the rate of concussions among young ice hockey players. Doctors watched 52 hockey games and identified 21 separate concussions during that time; more alarming was the 29 percent who subsequently suffered a concussion.
It is this 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) concussion which is the most worrying and by far the most dangerous. Most professionals agree that the chances of sustaining an additional concussion are much higher for people who have already been concussed. A high school coach explained, “One of the big things we don’t want is called second impact. They come back in there with a concussion that’s not healed and they have a neurological problem that’s permanent. .”
Concussions aren’t actually caused by direct contact in the form of striking impact, but rather by the whiplash resulting from contact, bruising the brain as it collides with the skull. Dr. Ned Amendola, University of Iowa football team physician and consultant to the NHL Players’ Association, basically believes, “The brain needs some time to recover from a concussion.
Pop Warner, the nation’s oldest and largest youth soccer organization, now requires a doctor’s note clearing any participant with a head injury before they are allowed to return to the field. But what that period should be is up for debate. It’s this gray area that is confusing schools, parents and even doctors themselves, says a Louisville accident attorney. Doctors who are not fully aware of a history of concussion due to previous incorrect diagnoses put players and children at risk.
A Louisville personal injury attorney tells nearby Kansas City that a high school football player hit his head, was diagnosed with a concussion, was cleared to play the following week after being consulted a doctor and sadly died after quitting the game again. The doctor performed a CT scan on the injured man, but did not notice symptoms of a subdural hematoma, a rare but fatal brain injury that develops ultimately proved fatal. The attorney handled a similar lawsuit against a Kentucky hospital.
Without Proper Consensus on How Best to Accurately Identify and Assess Concussions, Parents Place Too Much Trust in Their Local School’s Approach to Concussion Treatment, Says Personal Injury Lawyer of Louisville. Thomas Martin, director of adult neuropsychology at the University of Missouri and president of the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, says, “I think right now there’s a lot of variation in how coaches, districts Schools and administrators are addressing this and some schools in the area are much more aware. literature and are going in the right direction, and other areas not so much.”
So carefully consider your school district’s approach to concussions before allowing your child to get involved in local contact sports. You could put their lives in less than capable hands.
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