Focus on Athletic Trainers

The first line of defense for concussions is athletic trainers, however not everyone knows or understands why that might be.  Chuck Finder does a great job explaining why in is Head in the Game series of articles for the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh.

“The old story is, ‘We can’t afford to have one,’ ” said Mike Cordas, parroting some school districts’ explanations. He is a Harrisburg-area physician and chairman of the sports-medicine advisory committee to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. “You can’t afford not to have one. That is your first line of defense.”

“There are 7.6 million kids playing high school sports in this country, and now less than 50 percent of those high schools have a certified athletic trainer on staff,” said Dawn Comstock, the principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy in Columbus, Ohio. Another survey last summer by the Scripps-Howard News Service placed the figure at nearly two of every three school districts nationally without such full-time help. Dr. Comstock added, “I think we’re letting those kids down.”

Dr. Cordas has this exactly right without an athletic trainer, especially if they would be available in your area, the risk and liability of not having one is greater than the cost of retaining one.

“The athletic trainer is the most important [medical professional] on that field,” continued Dr. Cordas, who also worked with Penn State football in years past. “He or she knows that athlete better than any physician; he or she sees them every day. The athletes confide in him or her; they trust them. The athletic trainer is the most indispensable part of the outfit.”

Read the entire story HERE.

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