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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

In our state, from Capitol News Service:
Every year, 100-thousand Floridians suffer a traumatic brain Injury. Many of them are high school athletes that feel pressured to get back in the game while still feeling the effects of their injury. As Whitney Ray tells us, state lawmakers want a health official to intervene in cases where high school athletes suffer a blow to the head.

Sixteen year old soccer player David Goldstein is taking his story to the state capitol.

“In January 2010, I had a head to head collision with another soccer player, during the district finals for my school’s soccer team,” said David.

Even though David felt dizzy that day he choose to keep playing; the game was too big, the pressure too great.

“This opportunity comes up and I didn’t want to let it go and I got hurt,” said David.

After collapsing at practice a day later, and passing out at school, David decided to get help. He found out he suffered a brain injury from his injury and his choice to keep playing.

Unfortunately David’s story is all too common. Every year thousands of high school athletes suffer concussions. Many of them never get treated.

The Brain Injury Association of Florida is launching an informational campaign to help parents and athletes better understand the issue. State lawmakers are also pushing guidelines that would leave the decision to get back in the game up to health officials.

“We want to have doctors to be the ones who give the final ok. Not just kind of the coach on the sideline saying go ahead get back in the game. It could be doctors, it could be nurses that are trained in these issues,” said Bill Sponsor Anitere Flores.

The NFL is backing the legislation. The league suffered a loss last week when a former Chicago Bears safety committed suicide. Before he shot himself in the chest he texted loved ones telling them to have his brain examined. He believed his life struggles were brought on by concussions he suffered playing football.

Part of the legislation would require schools to give parents information about traumatic brain injury and have parents give their consent before their children could play high school sports.

Original story is here.

And in our own back yard via the Tallahassee Democrat:
Leon County Schools ahead of proposed concussion legislation
Two lawmakers hope to make Florida the 10th state to create mandatory programs that educate high-school student-athletes, coaches and parents about concussions and also provide parameters for how athletes with head injuries can be cleared to return to competition.

But any laws passed at the state level would already be playing catch-up to what's happening in Leon County, where five public high schools as well as FAMU High, Florida High and Maclay have already implemented a far more comprehensive concussion program.

The local program, created through a partnership with Leon County Schools and Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic, includes baseline testing of brain activity on athletes that can be used as a comparison when a head injury occurs. (The same program Jack started and funded at Episcopal High School in Virginia years ago.) An athlete cannot return to competition until a second "post test" matches the results from the original test.

"(Leon County is) definitely several steps ahead in this," State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said. "Those baseline tests are cost-effective and they are easy to administer. They are easy to administer on the sideline as well.

"That's where we eventually want to get to," Flores added. "This bill is just the first step in that process."
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