Category Archives: High School

Public Health Approach to Reducing TBI, an Update from CDC

Ongoing efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the population impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are documented in the May/June issue of The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, official journal of the Brain Injury Association of America. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

“This special issue draws attention to the need for strategies to prevent TBI and to lessen the substantial physical, psychological, economic, and social effects among people who experience it,” write co-editors Jeneita M. Bell, MD, MPH and Christopher A. Taylor, PhD ofCDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. CDC is tasked with working to reduce the incidence of TBI by the federal Traumatic Brain Injury Act, passed by Congress in 1996 and renewed multiple times since.

New Research toward Reducing the Burden of TBI CDC’s strategic plan for TBI aims to achieve the greatest possible reductions in deaths and negative health effects of all TBIs, including concussions. The four pillars of CDC’s strategic plan for TBI are:

(1) improving the understanding of the public health burden of TBI, (2) reducing the incidence of TBI through primary prevention, (3) improving recognition and management of mild TBI (i.e., concussion), and (4) promoting healthy lifestyles and improving health outcomes for people living with TBI.

The special issue highlights new research focusing on this public health approach to TBI. Topics include:

  • A new data source (the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project [HCUP]) that improves TBI monitoring nationwide. The large size of the HCUP databases will aid in understanding TBI’s impact in population subgroups.
  • The problem of unemployment after TBI. New data show that 60 percent of patients who received inpatient rehabilitation for TBI are still unemployed two years after discharge.
  • Motorcycle crashes as a cause of TBI. People injured in motorcycle crashes use more healthcare resources and are three times more likely to die in the emergency department, compared to those with other causes of TBI.
  • The high impact of sports — and recreation-related TBIs. About seven percent of all emergency department visits for sports — and recreation-related injuries are TBIs, with at least 3.4 million sports — and recreation-related TBI emergency department visits occurring over a 12-year study period.
  • The effectiveness of CDC’s HEADS UP new online course. This course — part of CDC’sHEADS UP educational campaign — aims to improve recognition and management of concussion in sports. Results suggest that the course increases concussion-related knowledge among coaches and others involved a wide range of sports.
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IHSA Launches Play Smart. Play Hard. Campaign to Enhance Student-Athlete Safety

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has announced the launch of the Play Smart. Play Hard. campaign focused on “furthering the IHSA’s commitment to enhancing the safety of Illinois’ student-athletes and collaborating with others who share that mission. The campaign will focus on educating and equipping athletes, parents, coaches and schools on ways to better safeguard the health and welfare of student-athletes, including minimizing the risk of head injuries.”

Marty Hickman, Executive Director of the IHSA, said: “Player safety is the IHSA’s top priority, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Play Smart. Play Hard. campaign. The IHSA firmly believes that high school athletics bring tremendous value to student-athletes, including lifelong lessons in hard work, perseverance and teamwork, but we also recognize there is an element of risk in athletics. Play Smart. Play Hard. represents the IHSA’s latest step in our ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety of student-athletes while they continue playing the sports we all love.”

As part of the campaign, the IHSA is implementing several new initiatives focused on “enhancing student-athlete safety that build on existing programs. These include:

“Launching the Illinois Advisory Council on Player Safety to facilitate open and transparent dialogue around head injuries and other player safety issues, review the IHSA’s current programs and offer new recommendations to ensure the IHSA remains a leader in student-athlete safety standards and protocols.”

The Council is comprised of the following individuals:

o   Tregg Duerson, former Loyola Academy and University of Notre Dame football player and son of deceased NFL veteran, Dave Duerson

o   Napoleon Harris, Illinois State Senator and former NFL linebacker

o   Tory Lindley, Associate Athletic Director and Head Athletic Trainer at Northwestern University

o   Dustin Fink, certified athletic trainer and author of The Concussion Blog

o   Sara Flanigan, co-founder and current president of the Illinois Spirit Officials Association, and a mother of two young athletes

o   Dennis Piron, Batavia High School Football and Track & Field Coach who coached son throughout his high school football career

o   Allison Hieb, junior soccer player at Normal Community West High School

o   Cole Steward, three-sport sophomore at Salem High School

“I commend the IHSA for taking such a strong step forward as part of its ongoing player safety efforts,” said Duerson, who played football in college and high school in Illinois and is the son of deceased NFL veteran Dave Duerson, who suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). “Coming from a football family who knows first-hand both the risks and rewards of playing the sports we love, I’m committed to continuing to honor my father’s legacy by working with the IHSA, student-athletes, coaches, parents and schools in Illinois to better protect all of our athletes.”

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Liability Leads School District to Ponder Switching from Chiropractor to ‘Certified Trainer’

(Editor’s note: What follows is a briieif summary of an article in the latest issues of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

A school district in the Midwestern United States will stay with a chiropractor, instead of moving to a certified athletic trainer, even though the state’s high school activities association has strongly recommended districts employ a certified athletic trainer, primarily to address the concussion issue.

Back in January, the district first noted that it was considering the possibility of hiring a trainer.

There are some liability concerns, according to the superintendent. He added that he needed to re-evaluate services provided as well as that liability.

He elaboratedm boting that there’s liability in severe cases. This could come into play in a “crisis-type” situation, where a player suffers a severe concussion. If the district did not provide proper and/or immediate care, which could have been delivered by a certified athletic trainer as the association recommended, will the district be liable?

For the full story with details, subscribe to CLA.

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