Local News

Wednesday, Sep 11 2013 09:25 AM

'First Look': Symposium to raise awareness of head injury prevention in athletes

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    Dr. Ron Ostrom, left, and Mark Corum, director of media services for Hall Ambulance, talk about an upcoming symposium on athlete head injuries on "First Look with Scott Cox."

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Back in the day, a football player who banged his head might simply tell the coach that yes, he correctly sees the coach is holding up three fingers, and he'd be back in the game in a flash.

That's the memory "First Look with Scott Cox" simulcast host Scott Cox shared Wednesday, acknowledging that's just not the way anymore.

In fact, more parents, coaches and athletes are learning about the seriousness of football-related head injuries and their potentially long-term impacts.

"The list just goes on and on," Dr. Ron Ostrom said of the secondary impacts of head injuries during the simulcast.

Ostrom, the medical director of Hall Ambulance and the emergency department at Bakersfield Heart Hospital, said "those effects can be catastrophic" and can even lead to long-term care dependence.

He urges those who are injured to get an evaluation by their doctor before making a decision about returning to the game. Parents should watch for ongoing headaches and poor performance in school.

Ostrom talked about an "impact test" that he urges athletes take before the season begins. Then, the cognitive test should be repeated any time the athlete takes a hit, so the impact can be evaluated.

"One can be too many," Ostrom said of hits to the head.

Cox asked if we're going to get to the point where there are doctors on high school football teams. Ostrom said most teams have a volunteer physician, like him, on the sidelines to spend time evaluating athletes.

To help spread the word about head injury prevention and awareness, Ostrom will lead a discussion and present information on mild traumatic brain injury at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Kern High School District EOC Building, 5801 Sundale Ave. It's meant for high school coaches, trainers and athletic directors.

The 8th Annual Head Injuries in Student Athletes symposium is presented by Hall Ambulance Service in cooperation with the KHSD.

Ostrom noted in a Hall Ambulance news release that 20 percent of the 1.5 million high school and college football players in America suffer some sort of head injury every year. So parents need to know about the symptoms of concussion, post traumatic concussion syndrome, and second impact concussion.

The Hall Ambulance news release said signs of concussion include: vacant stare, delayed verbal and motor responses, confusion and memory deficits, and symptoms of a concussion include: headache, post-traumatic amnesia, dizziness or vertigo, and sleep disturbance.

 

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