UCSF neurosurgeon calls for more concussion awareness

September 24, 2012

Topic: injury prevention

UCSF neurosurgeon calls for more concussion awareness

When it comes to sports injuries, concussions are a serious problem, not just for professional athletes, but amateur players as well. They can occur during any sport or recreational activity, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns, which is why it's crucial that coaches, parents and athletes are able to identify the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, know what to do if one occurs and teach their athletes injury prevention techniques.

Geoffrey Manley, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the University of California at San Francisco, recently published an opinion article about how although the NFL is attempting to raise awareness for traumatic brain injuries, the effort fails to emphasize the thousands that occur in younger athletes who may not play past middle or high school, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Despite the California law that requires an athlete who is suspected of having a concussion to refrain from returning to the field until cleared by a physician, Manley believes this is not enough. He writes that the primary problem lies in the fact that there are too many definitions of what a concussion is, and therefore, they're not always recognized and properly diagnosed. No matter how hard the hit was, all concussions are serious and can potentially cause permanent brain damage. 

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