Healthy Living

Concussions: The devastating impact, and the legalities surrounding one of the world’s most common injuries

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Nothing can be scarier than pain you can feel, but can’t necessarily see; especially when it’s related to head trauma. And while concussions may be a common injury—with millions occurring annually—unfortunately, many people are still unaware of the potential for a much more serious, underlying problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 75%-90% of the 1.4 million traumatic brain injury related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits that occur each year are the result of concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury. And worse yet, of the approximately 1.6 – 3.8 million sports-and-recreation-related concussions occurring annually, most are not treated in a hospital or emergency department.

New Law Reinforces Youth Athletic Safety

In September of 2011, the state of Minnesota adopted a new law requiring kids to be removed from their respective game if they show signs of a concussion. Additionally, they can’t return to play until being cleared by a health provider. Coaches and officials also must undergo training in how to properly manage concussions among their young players, according to the Associated Press. The law supports a recent youth cognitive screening program that establishes a baseline ‘getting your bell rung,’ were seen as a assessment for sports-related concussions. “Once upon a time, head injuries, orroutine hazard of sports. This thinking has changed radically as evidence grows about the long-term impact of concussion among youths.”

Anne Polta, The Associated Press

CDC Concussion ‘Tool Kit’ Update

The Centers for Disease Control updated and revised its “Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice” took kit, which contains practical, easy-to-use clinical information and tools, including:

  • a booklet with information on diagnosis and management of MTBI;
  • a patient assessment tool (Acute Concussion Evaluation or ACE);
  • a care plan to help guide a patient's recovery;
  • fact sheets in English and Spanish on preventing concussion;
  • a palm card for the on-field management of