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Last night we had our second girls basketball contest of the winter season and it was a VERY, VERY busy night!!! First, some back story on my experience with girls basketball as an athletic trainer…
This sport is extremely physical. In all my years covering girls high school basketball (11), I’ve observed there are more bodies on the floor and bumps and bruises than any other winter sport, wrestling included. I have no idea why it is like that, but this sport lends itself to a high rate of concussions. In fact, I had four last year, which equals what we had in football this year. I also have been dealing with an athlete that sustained a concussion last January, still has symptoms and has yet to return, which is my second such long-term concussion issue in four years.
Back to last night, we (my A.T. student, two high school observers and I) were going through the routine of the JV game when a previously-concussed athlete that had been cleared by a physician (AGAINST MY ADVICE) was warming up for the second half, and a ball hit her head. Most individuals that get hit in the head by a ball would just get mad and brush it off, but not this one. She crumpled to the floor, dazed and upset. We took her to the training room for evaluation, and she would not return (we will get back to her later).
While my students were observing her in the dark training room, I was back on the floor covering the game, when no more than 5 minutes later a player was dribbling up the court and was tripped and her head bounced off the court. She grabbed her head and was writhing in pain. I got to her side and she had tears in her eyes and a dazed look. After calming her down, she reported just a small headache while sitting on the court, but she was not acting like herself. We stood her up and like a cornstalk in the wind, she wobbled back and forth. She was ushered to the dark training room for observation as well.
By this time our resources were strapped. Good thing I had student observers, as they were put in charge of watching them, (as you could guess, these high school students are well versed in concussions, and working with me they get daily homework about this injury) and if they changed demeanor they would contact me or my college student. We were not in the training room because of paperwork, finding parents, or covering the game still going on. Then chaos knocked on the door.
The phone rang, and it’s from a parent at the junior high just across the parking lot, and he reports a girl on the floor with a head injury (you can see our community is becoming so VERY responsive to this issue). Continue reading