Tight Budgets Leave High School Coaches to Evaluate Brain Injuries

Far too often, coaches are asked to be “a watchdog against brain injuries.”

That’s the thesis of an article yesterday that explored the predicament for cash-strapped schools across Southern California.

“It falls upon us coaches to be vigilant about what we’re looking at and what we’re looking for,” Paul Knox, a football coach at Susan Miller Dorsey High School in California told the Standard-Examiner newspaper. “We try and make sure we err on the side of caution, if there’s any question we’ll have the player have a medical consultation.”

Mike West, President of the California Athletic Trainers Association, added that: “Unfortunately, not all schools have a certified athletic trainer to assist them in these types of injury evaluations.”

The article went on to cite the California Interscholastic Federation, which notes that only 19 percent of schools across the state employ athletic trainers on a full or part-time basis. “Those schools that don’t, they’re going to rely on coach’s awareness to say you know what, this kid is suffering from something serious as opposed to something that used to be considered getting their bell rung,” West said.

The problem is especially acute at practices.

“Because we don’t have medical supervision, practice is a situation where we have to really as coaches monitor as closely as we can,” Knox told the paper. “If we have any doubt about a head injury, if it looks like a concussion we consider it a concussion.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/12/03/new-law-targets-brain-injuries-high-school-sports

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