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State Experiences Implementing Youth Sports Concussion Laws: Challenges, Successes, and Lessons for Evaluating Impact

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2021

Extract

Over the past decade, a flurry of media stories devoted to sports-related concussions have drawn attention to the previously “silent epidemic” of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in athletes. From 2001 to 2009, the annual number of sports-related TBI emergency department visits in individuals age 19 and under climbed from 153,375 to 248,414, an increase of increase of 62 percent. Multiple head injuries place youth athletes at risk for serious health conditions, including cerebral swelling, brain herniation, and even death — postconcussive conditions that have collectively (and controversially) been referred to as “second impact syndrome.” Studies have shown that children and teens — and girls, in particular — are more likely to sustain a concussion and have a longer recovery time than adults. Recent research also suggests that even subconcussive hits in children and adolescents may result in longer-term health effects such as decreased cognitive functioning, increased rates of depression, memory problems, and mild cognitive impairment (a pre-Alzheimer’s condition).

Type
Symposium
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics 2014

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