As a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer I have had clients with traumatic brain injury. Some had mild concussions with short lived symptoms while others had permanent problems. This morning's Cincinnati Enquirer caught my attention. It reported on Cincinnati Red Zack Cozart getting hit in the head with a baseball.
John Frey wrote in his story that, "Cozart was given the SCAT2 test at the ballbark. He passed it and did not get a CT scan. " Cozart's symptoms were ringing in the ears andheadache. He was taken out of the game, but cleared by the doctor to play the next day. There is a 7 day disabled list and the Reds never considered it. Dusty Baker was quoted, "Not everybody who gets hit in the head is seriously hurt.." Now that really concerns me. A concussion is defined as a disturbance in brain function caused by a direct or indirect force to the head.
Last time I looked I did not see a medical degree behind Dusty Baker's name. With all due respect, Dusty needs to stick to figuring out how to handle his relievers. How many games has he cost the Reds. But that pales in significance to his off handed statement that not everybody that gets hit in the head is seriously hurt.
Modern medicine is becoming more focused on the perils people face with head injuries. The empahasis is on early detection and early treament. In terms of sports, if a concussion is suspected the participant should be removed from the game and not returned to action until seen by a doctor and cleared to return.
Parents of children participating in sports need to be particularly concerned and watchful. We now know that a second concussion occuring before the first one is healed can be life altering if not life threatening.
Concussions are very serious. We are learning more and more about concussions each year. We know that the younger a person is when they suffer a concussion, the more serious it can be -- the concussion takes longer to recover, can more easily recur, and can affect the development and function of the brain. It is critical that concussions be managed by an expert with experience and tools to treat and manage concussions.
Concussion is a common and potentially very serious injury. An estimated 136,000 high school students experience concussions during each academic year. While football-related injuries make up about half of these concussions, other contact sports such as soccer, basketball, and baseball contribute a sizeable share as well.
When there is a suspicion someone suffered a concussion they should be removed from play and medically assessed.
Resources on Concussion diagnosis and Treatment:
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