Archive for the ‘Validation of Health Care’ Category

Coaches and Concussions

Monday, January 4th, 2010

The news is replete the past few days relative to how coaches handle players. The firing of Kansas football coach certainly brought the topic to surface. More recently, the accusations by Texas Tech players and family fueled this fire.

My point is merely, there are different ways to handle injured athletes. I think it prudent to realize there are several issues worth reviewing/addressing here.
1. The physicians and athletic trainers should handle health care and the supervision of injuries and related matters.
2. The literature is supportive of rest following concussions. I don’t think the literature supports isolation in a room. The placement in a dark room would certainly make sense for a post-concussive event; but I think the application of this procedure could have been better implemented. From reports from the physician and athletic trainer involved; this request was mandated by the coach.
3. Administrators need to empower health care teams to care for injured athletes without influence of coaches. The NCAA put this into a rule relative to dealing with heat illness and conditioning activities. Funny that the NCAA had to make a rule for this autonomy to be provided to the health care team.

We cannot legislate or mandate ethics. Administrators need to make sure student-athletes are afforded a standard of care – and it is important administrators make sure that health care is objective and valid. The student-athlete does have a bill of rights!

Needless to say, I write this from the point of view of the health care team. Athletes have rights, and we need to make sure their safety is provided while they participate in a safe environment.