Monthly Archives: July 2015

FHSAA Mandates that Athletes Complete Concussion Course

The Florida High School Athletic Association has mandated that all high school athletes in that state complete courses on concussions provided by the National Federation of State High School Associations before being eligible to compete, acccording to a report in the St. Petersburg Times.

The paper, which noted that the courses are free and online, quoted Justin Harrison, the FHSAA’s associate executive director for athletic services, about the rationale for the decision:

“The reason behind the move was student-athlete safety. Overall, all concerned parties felt it was imperative to continue to educate the student-athletes on concussions. … This course was yet another way to provide the information.”

Harrison told the paper that Florida is the first state that requires its student-athletes to complete the course. The measure was passed by the FHSAA Board of Directors in June. The course is available at

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Who’s to Blame for Iowa High School Football Player’s Concussion?

(Editor’s Note: What follows is a brief excerpt from a contributed article in the July 2015 Concussion Litigation Alert. For the rest of the article and numerous others, please subscribe at

By Clayton Hasbrook, of Hasbrook & Hasbrook

The details surrounding high schooler Kacey Strough’s football-related brain injury are tragic. So many things happened to the student that parents and the public never want to see happen to any of our children.

But who is to blame? We all need to think through the answer to that question.

Strough, who lived with his grandmother, was a 16-year-old freshman in Bedford, Iowa, when he first suited up for the high school football team in October 2012. Today, at age 18, he has suffered permanent brain damage, is unable to walk, and uses a wheelchair.

Shortly after he took to the field as a rookie on the Bedford High team, Strough was bullied by fellow teammates, who repeatedly threw footballs at his head from six feet away. Soon after that, Strough began complaining that he was experiencing headaches and double vision. He went to the school nurse to report his symptoms. The youth continued to participate in football practice.

What nobody, not even Strough and his family, knew … (to read the rest of the story, please consider subscribing)

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Chameleon Injuries and the Threat of Misdiagnosis: Head Trauma is Not Black and White

By Nick Donovic

Head trauma accounts for up to 30 percent of of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. For those who survive a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the consequences can cause years of/ life-long impairment of memory, thinking, moving, sensation and and emotional function.Chameleon Injuries and the Threat of Misdiagnosis Head Trauma is Not Black and White

Basically, TBIs are never going to be a walk in the park, but as concerned citizens, survivors and champions for loved ones who have experienced a TBI– there are steps we can take to ensure we assess the best course of action to take . . . because every traumatic brain injury deserves the utmost and detailed care, because no two injuries are exactly alike.

An Evaluation Station

Concussions can masquerade or piggyback symptoms of other brain injuries, which can ultimately play a role in the improper diagnosis and treatment of other head injuries. Even the most innocuous injury can turn out to be something more than it originally presented as.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Public Health,  there is a step-by-step analysis of the proper way to handle an assess a TBI, whether or not it will be diagnosed as a concussion. First and formost, the NCBI determines injury potential on a scale similar to this:

  • Background: this step evaluates the severity and treatment plan of the TBI, while leaving room for proper evolution according to pitfalls that may arise along the way. This step should include the initial plan-of-action for the rehabilitation program best-suited for the injury at-hand.
  • Material Methods: No matter the cause of the TBI, science and common sense have both proven that the more hands-on approach that is taken to any realm of sports-related TBI has a higher instance of sustained rehabilitation. Simple exercises involving movement and different means of transport show significant results.
  • Blueprint for Brain Injury Health: No matter what the initial, secondary and tertiary diagnosis is for the realm of TBIs, human touch, support and consistent and secondary analysis is essential.

When Love and Injury Collide

Dr. Alexander K. Powers, a pediatric neurosurgeon from Wake Forest Baptist Health notes that treating rare brain injuries may allow his passion and his expertise to align in an uncommon way. According to, he grew up playing soccer, baseball, basketball and he rowed crew. Now he gets to straddle both sides of the coin as he supports his children’s athletic endeavors as he supports and tries to minimize damage done by youth sports.

Although more than 1.7 million people injure their brain accidentally each year, 75 percent of them are concussions or other mild injuries. Dr. Powers advocated for the 52,000 people each year who die from more severe complications, and the 275,000 that are hospitalized without optimal treatment.

Powers has also noted that there is a trend in many different positions across many different sports. He notes that proper and effective treatment may depend largely on previously ignored symptoms such as nausea, moodiness, trouble sleeping and even anxiety. As far as teenagers go, that seems like an arsenal of normalcy, which is why parents, coaches and teachers should pay extra attention to shifts in behavior after physical sports interactions.

Attorneys Sansone & Lauber note that, whether a TBI is concussion related, or more or less severe, as many as six percent of TBI related deaths could be preventable. Furthermore, as many as 74 percent of traumas related to hospital errors are preventable, according to the American Medical Association. Although the term preventable doesn’t always mean “negligent,” it never hurts to do the backup work and check into whether or not a patient could be prevented from hurting.

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