Concussion guidelines game-changer for athletes
Concussion research has yet to turn up therapies that can diminish the consequences of a mild traumatic brain injury or shorten the duration of its symptoms, the nation's leading group of neurologists concluded.
But in athletics, there is one step that can avert lengthening symptoms or exacerbating damage from a blow to the head, the American Academy of Neurology wrote: Take the athlete out of the game or off the practice field when a concussion is suspected, and delay his or her return to play until the all-clear has been issued by a trainer or physician skilled in diagnosing and treating brain injury.
In guidelines issued by the academy, coaches and sideline trainers are urged to be particularly conservative in applying those rules to younger athletes, those who've had past concussions, those who practice fewer than three hours a week and those who play in a game, such as hockey, in which body-checking is routine.
The new set of guidelines is the first update to the medical specialists' recommendations since 1997. It underscores the value of putting athletes through a battery of cognitive tests before they begin participating in a sport.
The neurologists concluded that those “baseline assessments,” which are increasingly required among high school and college-level athletic programs, give physicians, coaches and athletic trainers a firmer footing on which to decide when a concussed athlete has regained his or her pre-injury cognitive function and can safely return to play.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- High court to weigh pregnancy work rights
- FBI investigates celebrities’ nude photo claims
- U.S. to get base in Niger to aid Islamist hunt
- Ferguson police begin wearing body cameras
- Texas GOP lawmaker calls for end to 40-year crude oil export ban
- Surveillance video in Wal-Mart police killing sought
- Perry distances himself from unflattering image tweeted of DA
- President’s Labor Day appearance heavy on politicking
- Anti-abortion law in effect in Louisiana, with a caveat
- New heart failure drug works much better than current treatment, study finds
- Obama backs off immigration vow