Doctors told to protect sports concussion patients
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is urging doctors to both do a better job of educating athletes and their families about the dangers of sports concussions and making sure that they don't return to contact sports too quickly.
The AAN's newly released position paper, published in the journal Neurology, is based is on several years of research and analysis of ethical issues and corresponds with the AAN's sports concussion guidelines. The statement ends with a call to action for doctors, saying that they have a duty to ensure adequate training and experience in identification and assessment of both the existence and seriousness of possible brain injury when caring for athletes with concussions.
The hope is that the report will help clarify how concussion risk varies with factors such as age, gender, puberty stage and ethnicity and make it easier for athletes and parents to make informed decisions about playing contact sports. Currently, concussions account for about 9 percent of all high school sports injuries.