News – PA State Legislature Aims to Improve Concussion Management

28 Jan

Harrisburg, PA – I am an ATC in the great state of PA, living just outside of Hershey, PA (yes, it often smells like chocolate!).  I am involved with the PA Athletic Trainer’s Society (PATS) and truly believe that PA is ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to athletic training services to high school student athletes.  According to PATS, 86% of PIAA athletes have access to athletic training services compared to 45% across the country.  In my PIAA District, there are 120 schools and 132 athletic trainers covering 90+ schools.  Only 2 public schools in the PIAA District don’t employ the services of an AT.  The other 20+ schools that don’t provide daily AT access are small private schools with very few students and a handful of varsity teams.  PA also boasts the most accredited athletic training degree programs in the country.  I envision the day when what we provide in PA is the norm across the country!

With that in mind, our state legislature is taking aim at developing a state law mandating proper management of concussions.  In a report on the latest developments

On Wednesday afternoon at the State Capitol, Briggs introduced the bill again, this time as a piece of bipartisan legislation that will be sponsored by Briggs and Senator Pat Browne (R-Lehigh/Northampton/Monroe) and pushed in both the House and the Senate.

“This bill will require the state to take a more proactive role in addressing concussion injuries,” said Briggs, who added that some of the language of the bill has between changed since it passed through the state House last September.

The revamped Safety in Youth Sports act — H.B. 200/S.B. 200 — is once again aimed at ensuring proper care for student-athletes who suffer concussions, and also mandates that a player who exhibits concussion symptoms cannot return to play until cleared by an appropriate medical professional.

There has been much debate over the “appropriate medical professional” not just on the House and Senate floors, but also among medical professionals as they argue for their profession.  Read the full article and comment on what you think.  Currently, athletic trainers are included in the bill as an appropriate medical professional as are MDs and DOs.


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