Return to Play Policies Leave Doctors Without Concussion Expertise in Tough Spot

John Reilly, an orthopedic surgeon in New York, told Staten Island’s local newspaper yesterday that the stakes have gotten bigger for doctors on the sideline that decide to hold a player out of a game.

“The landscape has changed,” he told the paper. “Up until now you made a clinical assessment on the field just to decide if a player had a significant head injury. You kind of erred on the side of precaution. You would keep him out of the game.

“It’s different now because once you take them out and define it as a concussion there’s a whole process in place to determine allowing them to come back to play.”

He added that the pressure on doctors is further intensified by the fact that most of them are not neurologists.


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