EMS Can be the Gatekeepers to Care for Young Concussion Victims

Recent news article highlights interaction with coaches and trainers


A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P | | Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An article reported on FOX News is well worth your crews reading because their response and more importantly their interaction with coaches and trainers, may be the key to preventing young concussion victims from suffering severe disabilities or death after a concussion.  Coaches and trainers are under increasing pressure to monitor their young athletes and keep them from further contact for up to 30 days post-concussion.

"Kids' repeat concussions may mean longer recovery"

JEMS: Pediatric Concussions Require Prehospital Recognition  

EMS providers will often be the Gatekeepers to Care for these young, injured athletes and strongly recommend transport and further examination and care post-concussion. Your service should have a policy in place to deal with the “resistive” coach or trainer, involving online medical direction when necessary to convince either or both parties to comply with recommended transport, as well as document their refusal (on tape) in case of further incidents.

I was involved with a case in Southern California involving a concussion to a football player whose coach forced him to return to play post-concussion and then delayed his transport after the next hit he took in a game – and a period of unconsciousness.  It resulted in the 17-year-old suffering a severe subdural bleed.  He is permanently disabled and his family received over 6 million dollars in damages from the parties involved in his delayed care and transport.

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Related Topics: News, concussion, sports-related concussions

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A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, has a background as an EMS director and EMS operations director. He specializes in MCI management.


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