NCAA student athletes: should there be a concussion registry?

“The NCAA said it doesn’t keep track of medical disqualifications or how many sidelined players have transferred to play football elsewhere. Most of the schools that make up the lucrative, upper echelon of college football refused to release even basic information about disqualifications.”  

David Robinson – Boston Globe January 8, 2015

WESTBOROUGH, MA January 10, 2016 Can prior history of concussion be provided to the medical staff of a prospective team? Should an athlete be responsible in reporting the true incidence of concussion? At what point does healthcare privacy protect the student athlete from needing to report the history of brain trauma?  What will the longterm implication be of repeated concussion in young athletes?

Ball in air
Concussion is a common injury among LAX players

The fact is that student athletes who become disqualified due to concussion often make themselves available to other NCAA Division I schools. It seems impossible to believe that any medical staff of the highly regarded football program (or any contact sport) would disregard the pertinent facts of the athlete’s physical health and permit them to compete in football or any contact sport.  This is as despicable as the NFL’s failure to speak out against concussion in defiance of those players who were badly damaged by the game – many who have died. Improved healthcare for student athletes and an NCAA concussion registry may reduce the chance of an athlete returning to football when medical opinion has removed them from competition because of the risk associated with repeat concussion. This is especially true when common sense fails and young players become enticed by the promise of fame and fortune.

The literature has now revealed the devastating impact of concussion and even the sub concussive head bumps on long term health and well-being of student athletes.  Contact the Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital 508-871-2077 or Dr. Michael Sefton 508-579-0417 for pre-injury baseline testing or post-injury care.



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