Almost every state has laws in place to protect student athletes from returning to play after receiving concussions. Colorado has the Jake Snakenberg Youth Sports Concussion Act. Without concussion rules in place to keep concussed players off the field, they could be put at risk for suffering secondary complications.
A new study conducted by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Plano claims these laws are being ignored. According to results gathered by the researchers, 38 percent of concussed athletes who participated in the study returned to playing the same day they were treated.
School districts may not realize that suffering back-to-back concussions include death and permanent disability.
Why Is This Concussion Study Alarming?
Although it is rare, second impact syndrome can cause death or permanent disability. Student athletes who experience this complication face serious health issues.
In 2006, 13-year-old Zackery Lystedt suffered a concussion while playing football at his middle school. Zackery’s coaches knew he was showing signs of a concussion, but allowed him to continue playing. When he was hit a second time, he collapsed. Zackery was airlifted to a hospital, where doctors worked feverishly to reduce brain swelling and bleeding.
How did second impact syndrome affect Zackery? It took nine months in the hospital before he could speak a single word, and over a year for him to move a finger. Zackery has recovered since the initial injury. He and his family spend time raising awareness of second impact syndrome so other families can avoid a similar fate.
Parents do not want to see their child go through what Zackery endured. School districts should understand that not only are they putting students at risk, but they can also be held liable. Zackery and his family settled with the school district responsible for his injuries for an undisclosed amount.