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Improved testing for concussions in Massachusetts teen athletes


A proposed bill in Massachusetts may make testing for concussions in young athletes easier. The legislation addresses the need for baseline information concerning a student athlete’s brain function so that the severity of a head injury can be more accurately assessed.

The new bill would complement legislation passed in 2010 that requires student athlete physicals on an annual basis, specialized training for those who work with those athletes and more comprehensive reporting of head injury incidents at the state level. Additional legislation is pending to institute standards for use in preventing concussions.

According to reports, the bill was inspired by the story of a soccer player who suffered a serious concussion after being struck on the head by a knee. She now plays soccer at the college level, and a state senator and supporter of the bill stated that the athlete wants other students participating in sports to be protected.

While it may be unclear whether the incidence of such injuries is increasing or if the injuries are being accounted for more efficiently, all the new legislation reflects growing awareness of the long-term effects concussions may have on athletes. Symptoms include disorientation, loss of consciousness and mood swings. In the event of a child suffering a brain injury due to head trauma in sports or another setting, a lawyer may be able to help investigate the circumstances to determine whether the injury can be attributed to failure to follow such safety protocols. That lawyer may be able to help a victim project future medical expenses and represent a victim in negotiations for compensation to cover those expenses.

Source: Patriot Ledger, “Doing more about teen concussions“, Jay N. Miller, October 21, 2013


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