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Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Sport Safety International Launches Concussion Instructor Program

WAYNE, NJ – Having educated over 93,000 people from 23 countries in over 120,000 online sport safety courses since 2011, Sport Safety International announced today that it has launched a new initiative that a will arm those who provide concussion education with new tools to get the job done.

The Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program the first comprehensive, nationally standardized concussion education program in the United States that is specifically designed to prepare instructors to educate coaches, parents and athletes about the prevention and initial care of sports related concussion.

“There is an overabundance of informational material available in print and online regarding concussion prevention and management.” says Dr. Robb Rehberg, co-founder of Sport Safety International and creator of the ConcussionWise program. “However, to date there are no standardized programs designed to prepare those responsible for educating coaches, parents, and athletes that ensure current, accurate and consistent information is being used.” Rehberg says all Concussion Wise ™ courses are based on the latest recommendations and guidelines, including those developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, American Academy of Neurology, and the recommendations from the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport (Zurich 2012).

Think CPR training, but for Concussion
Rehberg sees many parallels between concussion education and early CPR education, citing that concussion management and CPR are both based on universally accepted recommendations and guidelines that are reviewed periodically by experts, and updated based on the latest research. “For over 40 years, the delivery of standardized, consistent education how to respond to a cardiac emergency has been delivered quite effectively through standardized education programs delivered by trained CPR instructors, and as a result, many lives have been saved.” Rehberg says. What we’ve done is taken the CPR instructor model and used it to create a program through which instructors can offer standardized concussion education without having to piece together a course on their own. We believe this result will be course participants who are better prepared to prevent, recognize, and provide initial care for athletes suffering from concussion. Think CPR training, but for concussion prevention and management.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 173,285 sports and recreation related traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and adolescents are treated in emergency departments in the United States each year. In response to the growing concern over concussion in youth athletes, laws designed to help prevent and properly manage sports related concussions have been enacted in all 50 states. Education of coaches, parents, athletes and coaches is an important component of the laws. The concern over concussions prompted President Obama to hold a summit on sports safety and concussions at the White House late last month.
Rehberg says that after successfully completing the instructor program, Concussion Wise ™ Instructors are authorized to teach using the Concussion Wise ™ Live video and presentation materials, which are based on the organization’s popular online courses of the same name. Additionally, all course participants receive a certificate of completion. Coaches who complete the program are also eligible to be listed on the Concussion Wise ™ Registry, an online searchable database of coaches who are Concussion Wise ™ trained.

The first Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program will be held on June 23 in Indianapolis, the site of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 65th Clinical Symposia and AT Expo. For more information on the Concussion Wise ™ Instructor program, visit www.ConcussionWise.com/instructor .

Rugby Wants to Study Concussions, but Few Want to Participate

Concussions remain one of the biggest issues facing rugby, but the sport is finding it a struggle to find even enough former players to take part in a study into the long-term effects of head trauma.

One study at the Auckland University of Technology hoped to look at 600 former athletes, 35 to 55 years old, from several sports popular in New Zealand: 200 former top-level rugby players, 200 former recreational rugby players and 200 former cricket and field hockey players. The study was begun in August 2012, and researchers had hoped to turn over a final report to the International Rugby Board a year later, in September of 2013.

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Doctors urge NRL to be consistent on lifting tackles to avoid more injuries like Alex McKinnon’s

Speaking with News Limited, specialist sports physician Dr Rob Reid — a spokesman for Sports Medicine Australia — said a “lack of consistency” on lifting tackles had worried his organisation for some time.

The revelation comes as NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg told media on Wednesday that while his organisation was “analyzing data” on the prevalence of lifting tackles in 2014, they would not be rushed into making changes to how the tackle was policed.

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Concussion controls are still lacking, say Lewis Moody and Rory Lamont

• Players can’t be trusted to be honest, says Lamont
• Moody adds that the OK should be in specialist hands

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Rugby – Concussion risks in sport ignored – new study

Brain injuries are far too prevalent in sport, with many players ignoring warning signs of danger after a big knock, a new study has found.

Sport accounts for one in five traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand, with nearly half of those likely to have a high risk of complications.

Previous studies held sport accountable for about 15 per cent of head injuries but research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport this month shows that to have increased to 21 per cent.

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Does Your Kid Have a Concussion? Tips for Parents

A concussion is an invisible injury that can not be seen by MRI, CAT scan or X-rays. A concussion can affect the way a person thinks, feels and remembers things. Someone with a concussion can be sensitive to loud and repetitive noises and bright noises. It can make a person sleepy, emotional, distracted, moody and forgetful and it can be caused by a hit to the head or whiplash or anything that causes a sharp jarring to the head.

Because it can’t be diagnosed by X-ray, doctors diagnose it by asking questions and getting patients to do simple physical activities — my son had to touch his nose and then touch the doctor’s hand over and over.

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Sports are for Everyone program gets support from U.S. Navy

The hard-working, fun-loving people who run Sports Are for Everyone (SAFE), a nonprofit program for children with challenges, will now have volunteer support from the U.S. Navy.

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Professional Rugby Players to Undergo Concussion Training Program

All professional rugby union players and coaches in England will have compulsory education on concussion before the start of next season.

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Research: Sport’s concussion has long term impact on the brain

In an Australian first, Deakin University research has found that sports concussions do have a long term, negative, impact on the brain.

Dr Alan Pearce, a neuroscientist with Deakin University’s School of Psychology, has investigated the long-term impact sports concussion had on the brain function of 40 retired Australian rules football players. The results showed the former players experienced a reduction in fine motor control and abnormal changes in brain function when compared with healthy people of the same age who had never played contact sport.

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