Personal Injury

Study casts doubt about effectiveness of youth athlete concussion program

skull xray Study casts doubt about effectiveness of youth athlete concussion programNearly four out of 10 (38 percent) school athletes who were examined for concussions at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children sports clinic in 2014, returned to the game the same day they suffered the head injury and without being cleared by a medical professional, according to a study conducted by researchers the Dallas hospital.

The study involved 185 school athletes who were examined at the hospital’s sports clinic in 2014, and cast a dark shadow of doubt over efforts to quell the number of sports related head injuries, especially among young athletes. Repeated head blows and concussions increases the risk of long-term effects including the degenerative brain disease CTE that has been found in former professional football and hockey players.

The study points to one alarming fact: “We still have work to do to change behaviors to protect short- and long-term brain health of young athletes,” said Meagan Sabatino, the study’s lead author.

The study hits close to home for the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), which in 2003 launched its Heads Up program aimed at curbing the number of game-related head injuries in young athletes. The program is supported by the National Football League, governments, youth sports organizations, and top-level school officials across the country.

The program urges athletes to report head injuries that might be concussions and advises coaches to remove payers from the game immediately who display any signs of possible concussion. The agency developed about 50 products and distributed more than 6 million print materials to raise awareness of game-related head injuries. But the effort appears to have had little impact, the study reveals.

Source: MedPage Today