University of Florida research shows that of the 3.8 million estimated concussions, sustained during recreation and sporting events, half involved football. Among high school athletes, only half of the concussions will be reported by players according to research.
What was alarming was that the research also showed that the high school football players lacked appropriate knowledge concerning concussion. Even though the Florida High School Athletic Association requires mandatory concussion consent forms signed by parents and high school athletes prior to participation, many of these athletes had only partial knowledge of the symptoms and dangers associated with concussion.
Researchers had 334 varsity players from 11 Florida high schools fill out a questionnaire. These players averaged 16 years of age with two years varsity experience. While the majority knew that headache, dizziness and confusion were indicative of concussion, many where not familiar with other signs. These signs were nausea, vomiting, neck pain and grogginess. There awareness was also lacking concerning changes in personality, behavior and concentration difficulty.
This lack of knowledge, along with the unlikeliness of high school football players to report a concussion, is particularly disturbing because youths have greater vulnerability to the effects of concussion. These effects include post-concussion syndrome and second impact syndrome. Post-concussion syndrome is defined by persistent symptoms that occur following a concussion. Second impact syndrome is the rapid swelling of the brain after a repeat concussion. Second impact syndrome can lead to death. Only a few of the students tested knew that an untreated concussion could be fatal. Recommendations from Brady Tripp, the co-author from the University of Florida, included that coaches work closely with athletes to provide reinforced information to reduce the risk for concussion and the potentially fatal circumstances that may occur.
It is the responsibility of coaches, trainers and school medical personnel, like nurses, to be aware of the symptoms and dangers of concussions and treat them accordingly. If an athlete complains of symptoms or is seen receiving a high impact blow to the head he or she should be removed from the game and allowed back only after proper evaluation by a medical professional. Failure to do so can result in acute, chronic and potentially fatal consequences. In a case of negligence the school, the coach, the trainer and others could be held liable for the damages.
If you are the parent of a high school athlete, remain vigilant for changes in eating habits, behavior, complaints of dizziness or fatigue or any other physical signs that may be subtle. If there is any chance he or she may have suffered a concussion, seek medical attention immediately. Ignoring the signs is potentially dangerous and could lead to hemorrhaging, coma and even death. If you feel there was negligence involved on the part of the school personnel contact a brain injury attorney.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has represented the families of many athletes who were injured due to negligence or poor judgment on the part of the coach, trainer or other school officials or by poorly maintained playing surfaces or faulty equipment. If your high school athlete was injured call Dolman Law and speak with a personal injury attorney. There is no charge for an evaluation of your case.
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Source: Journal of Athletic Training 10-14