In the past five to ten years, much has been learned about the shocking effects that a person can suffer after getting a concussion. Former professional football players have experienced dementia, memory loss and death that have been linked to concussions suffered during their career. Research supports that early detection and treatment can play a significant role in recovering from brain injuries.
In reaction to this research, groups are coming up with programs and solutions for children who suffer a sports-related brain injury. It is reported that 170,000 children and teens are treated for sports-related head trauma every year. While professional athletes now use more sophisticated testing and treatment options, high school students in California have not had the same opportunities.
With the release of a new insurance program in California, however, student athletes can receive the same level of medical attention as professionals. The insurance program will provide testing and medical care for concussions, which is a level of coverage not previously available at a younger level. Under the plan, all players receive initial brain activity and response tests. When and if there is reason to suspect a concussion, tests are done and compared to the initial results. Depending on the result, an athlete will get immediate medical attention.
The goal of the insurance package is to provide testing solutions so that a child does not return to the activity too quickly. In cases when a person suffers repeated concussions, especially in rapid succession, he or she faces the chance that the brain damage will be long-term or fatal. By ensuring a child has recovered fully before returning to an activity, the chance of these repercussions is decreased.
Because of the financial, physical and emotional toll a brain injury can take on a person and his or her family, prevention is ideal. However, in the event that a brain injury has occurred, victims may have the right to seek compensation for damages.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Concussion insurance aimed at high school athletes," Grace Rubenstein, Jan. 26, 2012