Linked Article: Teen who sustained 11 concussions looks back on misunderstood injuries

Follow the link for a very sobering article on a teenage athlete who sustained 11 concussions in a 4-year time period. The effects of concussions (aka closed head injury, Traumatic Brain Injury) can be disastrous, and moderate to severe deficits are almost guaranteed in the case of multiple concussions. The problems are compounded if coaches, doctors, martial arts instructors  or training partners do not recognize or ignore the signs and symptoms of a concussion and allow the affected individual to continue an activity after a blow to the head. Unlike a broken bone or other outwardly obvious injury, post-concussive syndrome is an “invisible disease,” and the lasting symptoms can take many forms.  One statement in particular in the article is crushingly true, and should be kept in mind when an injured individual resumes training, work or social obligations:

“There’s no cast,” she says, “so they don’t know how hard it is.”

This young woman is very brave. By sharing her story she is making a valuable contribution to  the growing recognition of the seriousness of concussions.  Read the article here

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2 responses to “Linked Article: Teen who sustained 11 concussions looks back on misunderstood injuries

  1. From our own Washington University-

    Halstead testifies on concussion risk in high-school sports (has link to 21 min of audio)

    http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/20244.aspx

    Missouri lawmakers should give serious consideration to a proposed bill requiring medical evaluation prior to returning to play
    for high-school athletes who suffer head injuries, according to recent testimony by a sports medicine expert from Washington University in St. Louis.

    Halstead
    Mark E. Halstead, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and an assistant team physician for the St. Louis Rams, Washington University and Lafayette High School, testified in hearings on HB 1548 before the Healthcare Transformation Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Don Calloway (D-St. Louis), would require that any high-school athlete who suffers a head injury must undergo an evaluation from a licensed health-care provider experienced in concussion management before being cleared to return to play.

    “It’s scary to think about ‘A’ students becoming ‘C’ students, but I unfortunately see that as a result of concussions in my office on a weekly basis,” Halstead told the committee. “Athletes who have had concusssions have been shown to suffer from Alzheimer’s-like symptoms or dementia as they get older … and that’s not something I want any family to deal with if we can reduce the likelihood of it.”

    Comments by Halstead and other experts were included in a news article on the hearings that ran Feb. 9 on the Web site of the Missourinet news service. Streaming audio and video versions of Halstead’s 21-minute testimony also are available from links included with the Missourinet article.

    Halstead is a specialist in primary care sports medicine focusing on sport-related concussion management and on injuries and overuse problems in athletes. He is one of 140 board-certified pediatric sports medicine specialists in the United States.

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