Lynchburg City Schools Tackling The Issue Of Athlete Concussions
By Dave Walls
Can repeated concussions lead to violent behavior, and possibly murder? That's still for a Lynchburg jury to decide.One thing is for certain: Concussions are a real issue that schools and doctors are addressing with new policies to help protect athletes.At a May summit at the White House, President Obama noted that more than a quarter of a million kids receive medical attention for a head injury every year."Scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine recently studied the brains of athletes with CTE, a brain disease that's linked to repeated head trauma. Of those surveyed, 67 percent experienced mood and behavior problems, with a majority later showing difficulty thinking and remembering."That's one reason why Lynchburg City Schools is unveiling their new policies for athletes and concussions.It calls for the formation of a "Concussion Management Team", educating teachers and coaches about the dangers of head injuries.It also requires athletes who are suspected of being concussed to be removed from the game, and further evaluated.It's a policy that Dr. Brad Haupricht at Liberty University Health Services is in favor of. Dr. Haupricht consults with many student athletes, and says that "Any injuries, or even physical activities, while you have a concussion, just prolongs the course of healing, and can increase your risk for prolonged effects and prolonged healing from a concussion."So what's the big deal? Doctors warn that continuing to play increases the risk of "Sudden Impact Syndrome", or a second concussion on top of the first, which can be extremely harmful or fatal.When it comes to young athletes and head injuries, Dr. Haupricht says allowing proper time for healing is critical- For now, and for the future."There's this body of evidence building, at it's building, and maybe having more long term effects that we realize."Dr. Haupricht notes the first signs of a concussion may not even be visible for several hours. He says that most concussions are caused by the torque of the neck, NOT a direct impact.While current studies and concussion awareness are helping, he says we still have a long way to go.
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