Correct Information Is Key

I was forwarded this article from Michelle Trenum as she continues to help The Concussion Blog in getting the proper message out.  As she noted there were many concerning things written in the way of awareness.  We will break down the article appearing in the Amarillo Globe-News by Ricky Treon;

Sargent had the longest hospital stay. He was released from NWTH at about 6 p.m. Saturday with a severe concussion but no permanent damage after an MRI found no swelling or bruising near his brain, said his father, Jason Sargent.

“He’s got a severe headache and his neck is very sore,” Jason Sargent said.

Zach Sargent was taken off the field in a helicopter during McLean’s home game against Motley County.

The first issue we see is that “no permanent damage” was used especially after the MRI.  As we all should know current MRI techniques employed are not sensitive enough to show cellular damage to the brain.  Yes, the MRI would be a good tool to rule out bleeds and fractures as well as swelling on the brain, however the lowest level of function cannot be determined with this imaging tool.  Obviously the medics on site determined that Sargent was in enough trouble to warrant a helicopter evacuation, which are not used unless specific situations are met, bringing me to believe that his condition was not stable or could not be stabilized by a traditional evacuation.  It is very good that Zach is doing well, his recovery should be followed closely.

Whiteley was taken to NWTH by helicopter from Comanche Field in Stinnett with about 20 seconds left before halftime of Shamrock’s game with West Texas High, said Irish coach Jody Guy.

Guy said Whiteley was also hurt on a kickoff after a helmet-to-helmet collision.

“It knocked him out,” Guy said. “His pupils were real dilated. They (paramedics) felt like that (airlifting Whiteley to NWTH) was the right thing.”

Guy said by the time the game was over, Sargent and his family were about to head home after a CAT scan showed a mild concussion.

In another serious situation the player was airlifted to a hospital to receive treatment for a head injury.  The news about a quick discharge was very encouraging, but the tag of “mild concussion” really grates on me.  Again for those not going to the link, there is no such thing as a mild concussion.  Each and every concussion should be treated and evaluated the same, most of all the information given to the patient and support group should be consistent!  As we have learned the disconnect from the “correct” information and the information from doctors can be confusing.  Here is a comment in that post that really highlights the situation; What is being done about club teams that fall outside of the schools? There’s a pediatrician in VA who says she knows nothing of the Statute (Virginia Code §22.1-271.5). We all know that unless she’s been living under a rock the past few years, that can’t possibly be true. Kids play travel soccer where an AT is present. When a kid sustains a concussion, everyone but the AT wants him to go back in. The pediatrician questions the ATs authority and evaluation techniques, but is uneducated on the laws herself. Why hire an AT if your not going to let them do their job?

Jones also suffered a concussion, according to Arbor Christian coach Bret Bethke, but is fine and attended Saturday’s team meeting, though he won’t be participating in next week’s game against Lockney.

Why is an athlete who has been diagnosed with a concussion being allowed to attend meetings?  The proper and correct way to treat a concussion, especially initially, is to allow the brain full rest INCLUDING COGNITIVE REST.  As Paul LaDuke Jr. calls it “cocoon therapy”.

Finally from the article, Michelle noted that the most truthful statement made was by Sargent’s coach;

“It was a good aggressive play by (Motley County),” Jurado said. “I guess it’s part of the game. It’s the nature of the beast.”

It is a good sign that medics/AT’s are able to be aware of possible brain bleeds, warranting an airlift, but what is disconcerting is that after it is determined that the player is “safe” the education and awareness about concussions is lacking.  We thank the Amarillo Globe-News for the attention to the possible problems, but we are using your article as a way to show how getting the proper information out there is the biggest problem of all.

One thought on “Correct Information Is Key

  1. Zach Sargent September 28, 2011 / 22:53

    Well everybody, my name is Zach Sargent. I get to suit out for our homecoming game October 7 against Darrouzett. I am doing okay, besides headaches. I have had them for awhile but they are starting to subside. The main problem was my spinal contusion.

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