SPORTS CONCUSSION 2013 UPDATE

Football player Damon Janes, 16-year-old running back, died this past Monday from helmet to helmet collision head injuries during the game last Friday night 9/13/2013. “Damon was a unique, artistic, smart, athletic and friendly young student” at New York Westfield/Brocton High School [High School Football Player Dies From On-Field Injury In Brocton, New York, Huff Sports, 09/18/2013]______________________________________________________________
“An estimated 70 to 90 percent of concussions in sports are never diagnosed.”

The approximate number, ~ 170,000, of children who go to ER for concussions annually is inaccurate because millions are treated outside of hospitals by athletic trainers, family doctors or specialists.

“Sports with the most concussions are boys’ football and girls’ soccer, but bicycling, basketball and playground activities are also among the most common. About 64 % of concussions resulted from sports, primarily hockey, soccer, football and basketball.”

“Youths with no previously diagnosed concussions took a median 12 days for all their symptoms to resolve, whereas those with a history of any concussions took a median 22 days. It took about 3X longer (median 35 days) for the patients to recover if their concussion had been within the past year. Recovery time more than doubled (median 28 days) if they had more than one past concussion.”

Potentially lifelong symptoms of multiple concussions. Athletes with multiple concussions at a young age, should consider switching to a sport in which concussions are less likely.

References:
[Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski, co-directors of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University]
[Matthew A. Eisenberg of Boston Children’s Hospital. Eisenberg’s study notes]
[Childhood Concussion studies Butt Heads By Tara Haelle June 10, 2013 Scientific American]

Often there is insufficient medical history and failure to test the effects of damage from Concussion and TBI to Cranial Nerve I, Olfactory Nerve. These injuries are very sensitive indicators of Concussion and often overlooked. The resulting diagnoses are Anosmia (loss of the sense of smell), hyposmia (a decreased sense of smell), parosmia (a perversion of the sense of smell), or cacosmia (awareness of a disagreeable or offensive odor that does not exist) TBI. Many of these patients are unaware of their deficits. [Callahan & Hinkebein, 2002]

The problem is not unique to professional sports. About 144,000 people aged 18 and younger are treated every year in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for concussions, according to a December 2010 analysis in the Journal of Pediatrics [Concussion Is a Serious Problem for Child Athletes Concussion in children is a serious problem that deserves more attention By The Editors,Scientific American Feb 1, 2012
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=unschooled-in-hard-knocks]

How medicine, sports and society are trying to heal and protect the brains of millions amidst the growing awareness of the long-lasting effects of traumatic head injury
[The Science of Concussion and Brain Injury, Scientific American, Feb 3, 2012
http://www.scientificamerican.com/report.cfm?id=brain-injury]

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