Concussions are Deadly, Take Notice!
by blang1 on February 16, 2014 - 11:40pm
The concussion crisis has been an ongoing concept for many decades. Glassman & Holt (2011) review concussions as a whole and how the rate of concussions can be lowered by precautions and awareness in the article “Concussions and Student-Athletes: Medical-Legal Issues in Concussion Care & Physician and School System Risks.” Many people and/or athletes look at concussions as just a ding to the head, but it is much more harmful than what the eye can see. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, which leads to a dramatic change in the brain cellular level (p. 26). Approximately 1.6-3.8 million concussions are induced every year in the United States. The large number of concussions induced is a big eye opener when it comes to being well prepared and creating requirements and precautions to limit the amount of concussions received by student-athletes. Part of the reason for the large number of concussions is that many athletes do not report their concussions, they just play through it. Glassman & Holt (2011) address that schools should keep guidance counselors, teachers, and parents in the loop of watching out for students that endure an unusual drop in grades and/or obvious symptoms of concussions such as unstable balance, headaches, and vomiting in order to identify the issue before it escalates.
When a student-athlete endures a concussion, it is easy to assume that physical and cognitive rest is a good treatment. Although that may be true, there is much more that should be done to effectively and successfully cure a concussion. To effectively cure a concussion and increase awareness, schools should look into testing individuals before a sports season to establish a baseline and then when a head injury does occur, doctors and trainers can compare results of a post injury test to the baseline results. This precaution is effective, but students have found a way to outsmart the system by tanking portions of their pre-test so when they do receive a concussion they will still be able to play because the results of the tests will match up. To avoid being outsmarted schools should take notice to low scores on the baseline tests and assume that the individuals who received the low scores are purposely tanking the test. The schools should also implement re-testing for those specific student-athletes. Although the system for cutting down on concussions received by student athletes is not perfect, it has increased awareness by an excruciating amount throughout many decades.
Glassman, S. & Holt, B. (2011). Concussions and student-athletes: medical legal-issues in concussions care & physician and school system risks. New Hampshire Bar Journal, 52(3), 26-35.