Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

The treatment and management of sports concussions

In March of 2013, the guidelines on how to manage and evaluate sports concussions were updated by the American Academy of Neurology. These guidelines, which had not been updated since 1997, were changed significantly. Pennsylvania residents should make note of these recommendations, especially if they are active in sports or if their children participate.

According to the report, the risk for suffering concussions is highest among those who play football and rugby. For girls and young women, soccer and basketball pose the greatest risk. The report suggested that wearing a helmet may decrease the chances of suffering a concussion, but no clear evidence shows that one type of football helmet provides better protection than another kind of helmet.

No evidence shows that recovery can be improved by medication, and although athletes should not be not allowed to play immediately following a concussion, there is no substantial evidence suggesting that absolute rest helps either. The first 10 days after suffering a concussion are associated with the greatest risk of being diagnosed with a subsequent one. An athlete who has been diagnosed with at least one concussion in the past has a higher chance of suffering another one in the future. Having the ApoE4 gene, being exposed to a risky sport for a long period of time, and having a history of concussions are all associated with a higher risk of chronic neurobehavioral impairment.

When an individual suffers a concussion or another kind of neurological injury, compensation may be sought if a negligent party caused the accident or a health care practitioner failed to properly treat the injury. Concussions and similar injuries can result in disabilities and other long-term complications, so obtaining the advice of counsel as to the remedies that may be available is advisable.

Source: Medscape, "Concussion Treatment & Management", David T Bernhardt, M.D. Dec. 8, 2014

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