White House tackles brain injuries via recent summit

In a sports-centric state like Texas, many individuals participate in some form of athletics, especially during their younger years. From football to cheerleading and everything in between, though, youth sports can put a developing athlete at risk of various brain injuries.

The issue of brain injury, particularly among sports players and the young, has become so prominent recently that the White House held a special summit on the subject. Near the end of May, just as summer sports practices are heating up across the country, President Obama gathered a diverse group of coaches, researchers, parents, sportscasters and even professional athletes at the White House. The summit focused on identifying, responding to and preventing youth brain injury. Of particular note were concussions, which Obama himself said he might have suffered playing youth sports.

While concussions may not always be as severe as other types of brain injury, they may not be simply harmless or inevitable by-products of sports participation, either. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is actually a mild form of traumatic brain injury. A concussion is often spurred by a jolting bump to the head, which can happen in countless different types of youth sports.

Obama noted that the CDC reports hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits due to concussions. Interestingly, though, one of the more troubling aspects of youth concussions is that they can easily go unreported. Perhaps it isn't known that a concussion occurred, or maybe the young athlete doesn't feel hurt enough to make an ER visit. In either case, the effects of a concussion can lead to intensive treatment and massive medical expenses, particularly if the concussion is not addressed early.

The end results of athletic activity should be pride, fun and a sense of accomplishment, not permanent disability. In order to avoid that worst possible outcome, though, medical professionals must react to concussions swiftly and correctly. Parents of children or teens who have suffered concussions, and believe they may not have received the proper treatment, can contact a medical malpractice attorney experienced in brain injury cases.

Categories: Brain Injuries