The ongoing dialogue around concussions and the risks associated with playing football made the headlines again today with word that the National Football League (NFL) came to a $765 million tentative agreement with former athletes on concussion-related lawsuits. According to multiple media reports, the agreement includes compensation to victims of concussion-related brain injuries among the NFL’s 18,000 retired players. The compensation will cover medical exams and underwrite research.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department visits for sports – and recreation – related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents, increased by 60 percent in the last decade.
With football, soccer and other fall high school sports practices underway, it is important to be aware of concussion symptoms that may occur after a head injury at games or practices. Athletes who have sustained a concussion may:
- Be confused about assignments or positions
- Forget instructions such as sports plays
- Be unsure of the game, score or opponent
- Move clumsily
- Answer questions slowly
It is important to stop activities and seek medical attention if these symptoms occur after a head injury.
If a concussion is not properly managed, symptoms may persist. Early intervention can help reduce the possibility of continual symptoms.
In an effort to improve concussion diagnosis and treatment, Montgomery County Public Schools is partnering with Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland on a concussion program for county high schools.
The program provides all high school athletes with a baseline neurocognitive exam prior to their respective sports season. Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital is administering the baseline exams at 13 of the 25 Montgomery County high schools. The exams assess functions including learning, problem solving and memory skills as well as concentration ability. In the event that an injury occurs, the exams will be used in comparison with post-injury tests.
There are many signs of a concussion. Learn all of the signs so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.