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Time To Join The Debate Team?

I’m getting to dread Friday evenings in the emergency department.

This past Friday, I saw six patients who had assorted injuries from football games. Six.

Two of them had concussions, which goes along with a recent study published by the CDC showing that concussions are on the rise. See articles here, here, and here. CDC report is here.

There is a lot of debate on how to manage sports-related concussions.

The American Academy of Neurology essentially recommends discontinuing participation in the sport until symptoms resolve and appropriate evaluation … by a neurologist (or other physician with “proper training”) … prior to being cleared for participation.

The Consensus statement on concussion in sport (2008) recommends physical and cognitive rest until symptoms resolve and then a graded return to activity prior to medical clearance.

There is also an excellent but dated (1999) article in American Family Physician containing a summary of the then-current treatment recommendations for concussion. Several recommendations included discontinuing participation in the sport if several concussions occurred.

Anyone symptomatic when I see them gets taken out of sports and gym until cleared by their physician.

I also had another “oops” from Dragon Naturally Speaking related to the football injuries which was almost finalized in the medical record …

I dictated “… followed by hitting head on another player’s football helmet.”

Dragon spat out ” … swallowed getting hand in another player’s foot vomit.”

Haven’t seen foot vomit in a while, but I know I wouldn’t want to be getting my hand in it.


  1. Love beer mint. Foot vomit and belly button saliva, not so much.

    Thank you, Wagon Saturated Seeking.

  2. It happens. We run a big sporting event every year. Most years, we have nothing worse than sprains and scrapes, which the on-site paramedics take care of themselves. Once in a while, we get something bad enough – a broken bone, or a concussion – that they take the kid off to the emergency room.

    Two years ago, we sent so many kids to the emergency room that the hospital sent a senior physician out, and threatened to shut down the event. Nothing was different from any other year, it was just bad luck – the law of averages playing tricks.

  3. What is most frustrating about adolescent sports head injuries are the overzealous coaches and parents who need little Johnny back in the big game next week. Sad, sad, sad.

  4. For all that “Real Steel” is a pretty silly movie, it has an interesting point in the idea that sports are simply becoming too fast and too dangerous for people to be involved. Not just the athletes, but see also the regular occurence of deaths in the spectator stands at car races, air races, etcetera.

    It might be that the future of sports is a bunch of guys sitting on the sidelines, clicking away at mice and keyboards, and a bunch of UAVs bashing at each other.

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