The Robert Back Case

"There were multiple points of failure through this whole case, but there were so many opportunities to do this right." Mickey Collins, PhD The following story is a horrible tragedy and the result of poor communication. Below is a brief chronology of events based on several articles in the news. (1, 2, 3) Sept 5, 2014 (Friday): Robert Back played in a high school football game and sustained a possible concussion. Sept 6, 2014 (Saturday): Robert experienced nausea and headaches and was brought by step-mother to an Benefis Emergency Room - Dr. Nicholas Burham. He was diagnosed with a 'minor closed head injury.' "Buck [father] didn't go with Back and his wife Shannon to the Benefis emergency ro

Communication - The Missing Link in the Youth Sports Safety

Below are three stories which clearly demonstrate the need for proper documentation and communication. Story #1: Robert Back The following story is a horrible tragedy and the result of poor communication. Below is a brief chronology of events based on several articles in the news. (1, 2, 3) Sept 5, 2014 (Friday): Robert Back played in a high school football game Sept 6, 2014: Robert experienced nausea and headaches and was brought to an Emergency Room. He was diagnosed with a 'minor closed head injury.' Sept 7 – 9, 2014(?): Robert stayed home from school. Sept 10, 2014: Robert saw a Great Falls clinic doctor who "who told him not to play football until Sept. 15 and gave him a note to be give

The Allure of Baseline Testing

The article Concussion Tests Won't Fix the Concussion Problem states, "The rationale for baseline concussion testing makes intuitive sense — you measure people’s neurocognitive skills at baseline, when they’re healthy. If they hit their heads, you test them again to measure whether their memory, reaction time or other cognitive skills have changed. A decreased score suggests that something is wrong, and you take a closer look at the athlete (and perhaps do more medical exams) before you give her the OK to return to activity. The main worry is that the athlete will get another concussion before the first is healed." "The problem is that the tests can’t tell us whether it’s safe for an athlete

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