Part 2: Is Your Child Safe? Concussions
"Nearly all of the causes of death in sport are influenced by the care [provided] in the first five to seven minutes." (Ref)
There are concussion laws in all 50 states. Most are named for an injured or deceased student-athlete (Ref).
The Zurich 2012 Consensus Statement states,
“Concussion is considered to be among the most complex injuries in sports medicine to diagnose, assess and manage.”
The statement goes on to say,
“At present, there is no perfect diagnostic test or marker that clinicians can rely on for an immediate diagnosis of concussion in the sporting environment. Because of this evolving process, it is not possible to rule out concussion when an injury event occurs associated with a transient neurological symptom.”
And even for the trained medical professional,
“The on-field evaluation of sports-related concussion is often a challenge given the elusiveness and variability of presentation, difficulty in making a timely diagnosis, specificity and sensitivity of sideline assessment tools, and the reliance on symptoms.”
"If your ask me how to diagnose a concussion with 100% accuracy, I will tell you I have no idea." Dan Garza, MD, Assistant Professor, Stanford School of Medicine, Assistant Director of Sports Medicine, Medical Director, San Francisco 49ers.
A helmet sensor went off in a high school player’s helmet. He was evaluated for a concussion. He was returned to the game. Read more here.
"These previous types of accelerations that maybe were not counted as hits, maybe they should be counted." Dan Garza, MD, Assistant Professor, Stanford School of Medicine
The first state concussion law, the Zachary Lystedt Law, was a reactive (read not proactive!) response to a horrible injury. “Zach’s injury was preventable. If Zach had just been taken out of the game and remained out, he’d be like every other kid …”
How many student athletes are affected?
Check out the real story in Dallas, Texas.
Does cumulative trauma matter?
Current Health-Related Quality of Life in Former National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Collision Athletes Compared With Contact and Limited-Contact Athletes
Boston University "reported the most rigorous evidence to date that overall exposure in former high school and college football players could predict their likelihood of experiencing problems like depression, apathy, or memory loss years later."
Watch this episode of Friday Night Tykes. Watch from 36:35 - 37:55
Does your school or league have a concussion protocol with a clear communication and notification system?
Do they still operate on paper?
Do you as the parent receive an immediate notification if your child has been Removed from Play due to a possible concussion?
Were the signs and symptoms at the time of injury documented?
Is the Return to Play process clear and does it require a doctor's note to Return to Play?
Is this date clearly communicated with the school/league/coach?
Have you completed the Concussion Symptom Checklist PRIOR to the start of the first practice?