When I lived in a small central Texas town I was on call every Friday night. I had seats on the 50 yard line and the team physician knew exactly where my seat was. Usually, he just turned around and motioned for me to get up and drive to the hospital a couple of blocks away. I have seen my share of concussions, broken bones, and heat related injuries.
It has been a long time coming, but finally high school football is getting safer. I live in a state where football is king, but we are waking up from our dream sleep. California woke up this week as it joined 19 other states that have limited contact in practice and limited the length of the practice.
Concussions among high school athletes have been increasing in recent years, although that may be the result of increased diagnosis as we have come to put a name on the dragon. If you have not read or watched the video “League of Denial” about the professional football league and the cover up of the dangerous concussions and the results of those policies, it is unbelievable.
New evidence-based guidelines will be published in the September, 2014 issue of Neurosurgery which is free and available online now, for identification of concussions. The article lists 4 signs of concussions. They are: Observed and documented disorientation or confusion immediately after the event; Impaired balance within 1 day after injury; Slower reaction time within 2 days after injury; and Impaired verbal learning and memory within 2 days after injury.