Study identifies issues with concussion reporting

November 6, 2013


Study identifies issues with concussion reporting

It is an understatement to say that concussions are a persistent thorn in the side of athletes, and for those playing sports in middle or high school, they are an even more serious problem than they would be for adults. Suffering such an injury - even only once - predisposes adolescent players to be vulnerable to sustaining concussions more often in the future, according to various studies, and as such, athletic injury prevention efforts often include them (and other traumatic brain injuries) as one of the most significant occurrences to prevent.

The sheer frequency of concussions makes them impossible to eradicate, as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 137,000 sports-related TBIs bring young athletes to hospitals each year. Additionally, recent research has pointed out that cultural factors play into these injuries, potentially discouraging them from reporting the incidents and putting them in greater danger. 

Encountering a 'culture of resistance'
Members of a committee from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council conducted a recent study that focused on concussions in those between 5 and 21 years old. Chief among its findings were the facts that high school athletes are more likely to suffer injuries than those in college sports, as well as negative revelations about how the injuries are regarded. 

Specifically, the report made it clear that in some cases, athletes are being returned to play too quickly and not being allowed enough time to recover from the concussion or TBI. The average time necessary for recovery is 2 weeks, and more serious hits will require a longer period away from the game. Play should only resume after all TBI symptoms have fully subsided, and this does not always happen.

The study also pointed out that athletic equipment that claims to reduce the risk of concussions in its marketing copy may not be completely accurate - at least not in any scientifically quantifiable way.

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