Loopholes in the Laws

I must say the New York Times, and Alan Schwarz, is ALL OVER the concussion issue.  Appearing today in the Sports section he wrote about the Lystedt Law, in Washington state.  The law was enacted to protect the student-athlete, as we have discussed on here previously.

Two parents in Sequim, a small city northwest of Seattle, criticized how a local hospital handled their sons’ treatment after the boys sustained concussions playing high school football this month, with one player’s discharge papers reading, “May return to sports when able.” The other player received no medical attention on the field because emergency technicians were required only for varsity games, and he was on the junior varsity.

Another player’s mother who asked the Sequim School District to begin a baseline neuropsychological testing program — which can assist in evaluating when a player has recovered and can return to play — was told that such testing, “due to liability and legal issues, is not recommended either by the insurance provider” or the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

This is a clear reason why this website and another like it www.sportsconcussions.org (a website run by a mother from the Sequim school district) are here.  Education, period.

If ER doctors are missing the information, who can you trust?  A lot of doctors are behind in terms of education in this area, as it probably accounts for a very small percentage of their patient visits.  Education is the key.  Like I have said before, the sports don’t need to be outlawed, they need to be monitored better.  If there is a way we can reduce the number of head injuries and the related missed time from work/school/life, then we all win.

Neither Sequim player had taken a baseline neuropsychological test to help confirm when his cognitive function was back to normal, the players’ parents said.

Rickerson had lobbied the Sequim School District to begin such a program. She was told that the Port Angeles school district had looked into the idea but was told it was not recommended by its insurance provider or the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

We are lucky in this area of Illinois as the ImPACT program is made available to schools with athletic training contracts from Decatur Memorial Hospital.  The baseline test is free to all athletes.  Even if they do not have the athletic training coverage they do have access to the ImPACT from a Certified ImPACT Consultant (CIC) Dr. Wendell Becton.  And they do not have to have a baseline, as the test have normative data for all ages and genders to give the doctor a good idea of what is going on.

Getting the word out is the best medicine for this issue at this time.  Thank you once again to Alan Schwarz and the New York Times.

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