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NFL Moving In Right Direction On Concussion Management

Their are signs that the NFL is finally moving in the right direction when it comes to dealing with the silent epidemic of concussions.

In addressing concussions, NFL Commissioner Goodell said, "The overriding principle governing management of concussions in the NFL is that medical considerations must always have priority over competitive situations."   Let's hope he really means it!

At a league meeting held in Nashville,TN, the following standards were set:

•Medical decisions must always override competitive considerations.

•Neuropsychological baseline testing will be required for all NFL players beginning this season, using a standardized test to establish an individual functional baseline.  For players removed from games due to concussions, repeat testing will be done during the season to track recovery and to help decide when they can return to play. These players also will be re-tested against their baseline performance the following season at training camp.

•An NFL, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury conference will be held on June 19 in Chicago for all NFL team physicians and athletic trainers to share the most up-to-date information on state-of-the-art care and management of concussions.

•To promote the use of best practices by all teams, the evaluation procedures used by NFL teams will be shared among all medical and training staffs.

•A brochure will be developed and distributed to NFL players to help educate players and their families about concussions, including how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and recommended treatment procedures.

•Return-to-play decisions should continue to be made by team medical personnel using their expertise and professional judgment.

•The NFL will establish a "whistle blower" system so that anyone may anonymously report any incident in which a doctor is pressured to return a player to play from a concussion or that a player with a concussion is pressured to play. The NFL will investigate any such reports and take whatever action is necessary.



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