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White House Holds Summit on Sports Concussions

Sports related brain injuries are a constant source of national news lately. Now, the President of the United States is taking action with the first White House Summit on Sports Concussions. According to a report by the Washington Post, the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit included a panel discussion by brain injury experts, Congressional members and various sports participants. More than 200 people reportedly participated in the day long event.

Former Washington Redskins linebacker LeVar Arrington was among the sports speakers at the conference. He reportedly informed the panel that he was always prepared and willing to continue in his games, even after suffering from a concussion. The Post article quotes him as saying that he even practiced what he would say to doctors in the event of a head injury, to increase the likelihood clearance to continue playing. According to a report by CNN, about 250,000 emergency room visits occur each year as a result of sport related brain injuries.

ESPN analyst and former professional soccer player Taylor Twellman also addressed the panel. Twellman’s soccer career was reportedly ended by a concussion when he violently collided with a goalkeeper during a game. He now advocates for stronger safety standards and concussion awareness. Twellman reportedly told the panel that the stakes are too high for inaction, saying “We maybe need to give in to the hysteria a little bit.”

The brain injury debate reached new heights after former National Football League (NFL) players sued the league regarding head injuries they suffered during their playing days. According to the Washington Post, a federal judge refused to grant approval for a $765 million dollar settlement offer, determining that the amount was likely not sufficient to cover the total amount of injuries.

President Obama championed the need for youth sports, according to the Post article, calling a shift away from sports by young people troublesome. He reportedly spoke about recent studies suggesting a genetic link to the likelihood of brain injuries among certain athletes, calling for further research on the subject by doctors and experts in the field.

Money for Research
The summit included an announcement about various funding sources to advance studies on sports related brain injuries. According to CNN, the NFL pledged a $25 million commitment to the National Athletic Trainers Association. The purpose of the grant is to increase the number of athletic trainers working with high school sports programs. According to the article, about half of all high schools maintain no athletic trainers on the sidelines during football games. Additional resources include a $10 million grant by a co-owner of the New York Giants, to the UCLA School of Medicine’s neurosurgery department in furtherance of treatment and prevention research and a $30 million collaboration between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the federal government to create a concussion database at UCLA.

Brain injuries are serious matters with lasting physical, mental and financial effects for the injured party and the family. If your child has suffered a sports related brain injury, contact Levin & Perconti at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.

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