Neurologists' New Guidelines for Sports Head Injuries; Georgina Bloomberg Falls at Syracuse, Seeks Treatment Later

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Just last week, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued an updated position statement on how head injuries in sports should be handled. While the recommendations are aimed at school sports, they apply to all sport and outdoor activities that involve the risk of head injury.

As if on cue, I received a bulletin tonight that show jumper rider Georgina Bloomberg of New York City took a fall last night during a costume class at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament in Syracuse, New York.

The Post-Standard's Syracuse.com web site has a report on their blog about the fall and Georgina's trip to a hospital but so far the official horse show site has not posted an official report about Georgina's diagnosis or the circumstances of her fall.

Apparently, the accomplished rider was able to leave the arena on her own but her injuries became obvious later and she went to a hospital. The newspaper suggests that she may have suffered a concussion and other injuries. This description of a later onset of symptoms is typical of some concussion injuries.

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The new recommendations of the AAN are:

1. Any athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion should be removed from participation until he or she is evaluated by a physician with training in the evaluation and management of sports concussions;

2. No athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing symptoms from a concussion;

3. Following a concussion, a neurologist or physician with proper training should be consulted prior to clearing the athlete for return to participation;

4. A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion;

5. Education efforts should be maximized to improve the understanding of concussion by all athletes, parents, and coaches.

New information is flowing to sport organizations about head injury prevention and how to recognize when an injury has occurred. The information is very sobering.

Here's hoping we receive an update on Georgina Bloomberg's injuries and that they are minor.

ESPN.com has an interpretation of the AAN guidelines for high school sports programs; their statistics show a dramatic discrepancy between the number of concussions that occur and the number of athletes that seek medical treatment.

by Fran Jurga | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com

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