Hitting Your Head Again?

Concussion education could help reduce the high rate of injury

(RxWiki News) Mandatory sports education could help reduce the number of concussions suffered by teenagers during school sports.

About 70 percent of the members of the American Headache Society, mostly doctors and nurses who are specialists in migraines and brain injuries, agree education should be mandatory for coaches, athletic directors, trainers, parents and teen athletes.

"Seek immediate treatment for head injuries."

Elizabeth Loder, MD, president of the American Headache Society, said mandatory concussion education is an essential first step in meeting an urgent need to prevent, recognize and manage teen concussions.

Only 12 percent of medical professionals polled thought that adding a mandatory neuropsychological evaluation before and after head injuries could help reduce the rate of injuries.

About 11 percent believe lowering the number of high-contact high school sports offered could lower the number of concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

None of the clinicians thought that increasing parental involvement would help protect teens involved in high-contact sports.

“The rising incidence of these injuries, which may have serious long-term consequences for many young people, is a public health problem of epidemic proportions,” Dr. Lodger said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year reported a 62 percent increase in emergency room visits for teen brain injuries between 2000 and 2009, often as a result of football or soccer.

Repetitive concussions can prompt longer recovery time. Symptoms can last months to years and lead to serious degenerative brain disease later in life.

This can particularly be true if teen players continue sports without seeking treatment for symptoms or return to activities too soon after a head blow and suffer another hit.

The multiple choice poll was taken during the recent annual American Headache Society scientific meeting in Los Angeles, Calif.

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June 24, 2012