News – NJ Schools Re-examine Concussion Policies

20 Jan

School districts in New Jersey are examing their concussion treatment policies since the NJ State Legislature has passed a new law affecting how concussions are managed and establish strict rules for who can clear an athlete after a concussion.

There will be a renewed emphasis on treating concussions because of this law,” said Rumson-Fair Haven Athletic Director Walter Reiser, who also is in the unique position of being the school’s athletic trainer. “Is it going to change a lot of what we’ve done as athletic trainers? Yes and no.

“We might take a longer look at a kid with a concussion, maybe monitor him a little more closely after the injury. But for those who act prudently and do the right things, we’ve already been taking care of concussions the right way.”

“There are a lot of primary care physicians who are excellent at assessing concussions, but there are a lot of them who are missing the boat,” said Eric Nussbaum, the Colts Neck High School athletic trainer and president-elect of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey. “Some doctors might get a kid in the office and tell him that just because he has a headache it doesn’t mean he has a concussion, even though headache is the most prominent symptom of somebody with a concussion.”

A study released last month by Dr. R. Dawn Comstock of The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, cited headache as the top symptom (93.4 percent) among 544 concussions reported. Of those concussed athletes, only 4.6 percent, or 25, lost consciousness.

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