Senator Pushes Schools to Play Role in Concussion Detection

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Each year, more than 140,000 high school student athletes get a concussion while playing a contact sport. Studies have shown that left untreated, concussions may cause students to have difficulties in school. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is working to pass legislation that would involve the schools in the concussion recognition process.

A concussion is a hard hit to the head or body that moves the soft tissue inside the head. According to a new study by Pediatric Neuropsychologist Dr. Gerard Gioia, pulling a student out of a game when they show signs of a concussion could significantly help the healing process.

Gioia studied kids who sustained one injury in a 24 hour window versus kids with 2 injuries in 24 hours.

“The kids with the 2 injuries had a much longer period of recovery,” said Gioia. “The brain is much more vulnerable to be reinjured when its not fully recovered.”

Durbin’s bill would require schools to post signs detailing signs of a concussion. Additionally, if concussion symptoms were recognized, the student would be required so sit out for the day. The school would have to notify the parents and the student would be required to present a doctor’s note clearing him or her for activity.

Schools would have five years to implement this policy. If they chose not to, they would lose 5% of their federal funding the first year and an additional 5% after that.

The NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and NCAA have expressed support for this legislation.