Thursday, October 21, 2010
Medical Reports: Concussion Concern
Just this week the NFL is starting to suspend players for vicious head hits. It's a problem that starts in high school. The number of student athletes suffering head injuries is on the rise. 7s Richard Lemus has more about this Concussion Concern.
WSVN -- It's these violent helmet to helmet hits which prompted the NFL to punish players with hefty fines. From pro football to high school soccer, there are 100s of Youtube videos showing bone crunching hits on the field.
15-year-old David Goldstein knows firsthand how that feels.
David Goldstein: "A ball was rocketed at my head. I was dizzy and in a lot of pain."
He got his first concussion playing soccer at age 12. His second came after a head to head collision with another player.
David Goldstein: "I was in a lot of pain, seeing stars."
Both times David went right back in the game. Then in January during the district final against rival Gulliver Prep...
David Goldstein: "I'm thrown into the game and it's the most important game I've ever played in my life."
Another head to head collision video shows David stumbling across the field holding his head again. He continued playing, but after the game he collapsed.
David Goldstein: "Just thinking about how much it hurt was unbelievable. I couldn't move I was in so much pain."
Dr. Gillian Hotz: "We're really worried now about the young and developing brains, so multiple hits of this type on the brain will really play havoc later on in life."
Dr. Gillian Hotz of the concussion program at UM says, scientists are starting to realize even one hit can cause brain damage later in life.
Coach Mo Blake deals with injured student athletes at Ransom Everglades. He knows the tremendous pressure they're under to perform.
Mo Blake: "If they are trying to mask the injury or say 'I'm OK just give me a couple minutes,' that's where we as the coaches, adults and trainers have to really look out what's best for the kid."
That's why school adminstrators at Ransom have implemented the Impact Test for all student athletes.
Claude Grubair: "You take it to get a baseline of where you are under your normal condition, and then you take the post-injury test."
The Impact Test uses words and shapes to test a student's memory, mental speed and reflexes. Following a head injury, the student repeats the test if there are any changes in thought pattern any red flags at, all the child is sent for medical treatment right away.
Dr. Gillian Hotz: "We're able to take a look at the baseline testing and the repeated testing and take a look at the differences and make the proper recommendations."
Coach Blake says the impact test leaves nothing to chance if a student tries to cover up an injury. The test tells the truth something coaches are glad to have.
Mo Blake: "To not use this tool I think would be detrimental to the student athletes."
David wishes he had the impact test after his first concussion.
David Goldstein: "If I had that support and that knowledge before my situation would have been a lot better."
That's why he is now behind a massive effort to get the impact test into more schools.
David Goldstein: "The initiative now is to raise enough money to provide impact testing for all the public schools in Miami-Dade County with athletic programs."
Months later David has been cleared to go back to the game he loves.
David Goldstein: "Having all of this behind me gives me the confidence to go back on the soccer field."
Knowing the impact test and his doctor's support lowers his concussion concern.
Richard Lemus: "Congress is considering a bill that would establish standards for student athletes who get concussions."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Gillian Hotz
UHealth Sports Medicine
Tel: (305) 243-3000