Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Cause for Concern

Coaches and trainers are becoming concerned about concussions in youth athletes. Look at the case of a high school athlete who sustained two concussions this season:
James had been cleared from a head injury earlier this season, but the athletic trainer took extra care after the sophomore took another blow to the head in a junior varsity game.

(The Trainer) noticed James vomiting after the hit -- a typical concussion symptom -- but decided to play it safe and recommend James, the team's starting punter the first four weeks, be taken to the emergency room. From there, he was flown by emergency medical helicopter to the Medical Center,where it was determined Datz had sustained a subdural hematoma, a brain injury in which blood gathers in the brain.

James had surgery immediately -- physicians drilled into his head to drain the pressure off his brain -- and was released from the hospital less than a week later.

He has since returned to school for half-days...

Not every student athletes is as lucky. Take the case of Ryan, a 16-year-old High School football player hospitalized following a brain hemorrhage during a recent game:
Ryan had suffered a recent concussion, but was cleared by a doctor to resume playing... he had undergone a CAT scan before being allowed to return to the field.

The hemorrhage, or bleeding on the brain, occurred about three weeks later during a game... when Ryan tackled an opposing player, then abruptly collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage, that required immediate surgery, the statement said.

In a statement... it was "unlikely that Ryne's condition would improve."

Frighteningly, this incident marked at least the third life-threatening injury to a student football player in New Jersey this year.