Full Story to Channel 8 News Coverage on Concussion Featuring Dr. Bardwell

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From a lawsuit against the National Football League involving more than 4,000 players, to a new state law in Maine which governs when high school athletes can return to the field, the topic is sparking a lot of debate.

After high school freshman Cam Murphy was knocked to the ground in a soccer game last fall, it was weeks before doctors realized Murphy had suffered a serious concussion.

“I just got up and walked away. I didn’t realize it was that bad,” said Murphy. This spring he is reluctantly taking a break from sports. “It’s not very fun. I’d rather play than watch,” said Murphy. Murphy’s mother said the doctor told them he could face some serious consequences if he didn’t take that break. “The doctor told us if he went back playing and he got hit again, it could be for the rest of his life that he couldn’t play sports,” said Anna Bragdon.

That’s the message concussion advocate Scott Manthorne, of Yarmouth, is advocating. “I don’t think it needs to overshadow what sports are all about, but I think every coach, every parent should slow down, take some time to understand what this is,” said Manthorne.

Manthorne admits he is not expert on concussions but is a concerned parent working to ensure the highest degree of safety in youth sports.  In the past six months he has created a Facebook page, the “Concussion Discussion.” He has organized a public forum and has formed an alliance with sports medicine specialist Dr. Kevin Bardwell to better promote testing.

“We are working on return to play protocols. We’re working to increase awareness,” said Manthorne.

Bardwell said taking a simple baseline test can detect the slightest sign of irregular brain function. Many concussion experts suggest young athletes take the test before they begin playing a sport to provide their doctor a foundation of their brain function.

“What this can do is pick up the fine details, the motor skills that are effected when we take away different senses,” said Bardwell.

The debate over concussions has many parents wondering if their young child should participate in contact sports.

“I think there are far too many games,” said youth sports coach Mike Hagarty.

Hagarty believes concerned families should practice moderation and not eliminate sports entirely.

However, no matter how many games they play, it is up to the coach, the kids and the parents to recognize the symptoms. “Anything we can do to increase awareness, to increase measurement, to increase education and to let people know from the neck up there’s no such thing as a minor injury,” said Hagarty.

This year Maine became one of 39 states to enact a law governing concussions in high school sports. Every high school must have a concussion policy to determine when a player can return to the field or classroom. Dr. Bardwell and others want communities to set similar policies for youth sports.

Video Coverage can be seen here: Special Report: Concussion Conversation 

Tonight at Six: Concussion conversation | Health – WMTW Home

Concussions-JPGPORTLAND, Maine —The issue of concussions is dominating sports on just about every level.

Because of that, there is a new focus on what should be done to make sure children taking part in sports and their parents recognize both the dangers and symptoms of concussion.

Tonight on WMTW News 8 at Six, reporter Steve Minich will talk with Dr. Bardwell and others in Southern Maine who are working to raise awareness, especially in youth sports.

We will also show you a test many concussion experts are recommending all young athletes take before participating in sports.

ALSO, Dr. Bardwell will be live online to chat about your concerns with concussions and any other questions pertaining to this topic.

Tonight at Six: Concussion conversation | Health – WMTW Home.

A New Way to Care for Young Brains

 

“Parents will get irritated and say, ‘It’s three weeks and he still has headaches — the last concussion he had, he was better in a day,’ ” Stein said. “They want a fix. The changing timetables can be trying. But I tell them that you can’t try harder to heal the brain, just like you can’t try harder to make a broken leg heal faster.” – nytimes.com

Check out this great article concerning youth sports organization with TMI.

Link: A New Way to Care for Young Brains

Dr. Bardwell Joined a Panelist of Medical Doctors and Ex NFL Player with an Open Discussion about Concussions

groupmeeting2YARMOUTH, Maine —A retired NFL player and a panel of medial experts (Dr. Heinz, Dr. O’Connell, Kendrick Ballantyne, Dr. Bardwell) answered questions from students, parents and coaches about concussions and how they can be treated.

Former Baltimore Ravens Tight End Kendrick Ballantyne, a Maine native, said it is only recently that awareness of concussions has grown.

“Even in the late 90s and early 2000 when I was in high school, there wasn’t a lot of awareness,” Ballantyne said.

Ballantyne said many players just try to “shake off” a head injury and keep playing.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how many small concussions I’ve had, or things that have happened that I know things are wrong with my head, and it’s a concussion,” he said.

He said he now wants to spread the word to help others avoid serious injury.

“It’s something that can damage the rest of your life and cause problems long-term,” he said.

Dr. William Heinz helped co-found the Maine Concussion Management initiative to help teach athletes to know when it’s time to take a seat.

“Sit them out, so when you think they’ve had a concussion, they’re done until they prove otherwise. And that’s something I’ve said for years to athletic trainers: is if you even think there’s a problem, you take their helmet and you don’t even let them go back to play until someone looks at them and says they’re OK,” he said.

“It takes several hours to several days for the injury to really manifest itself, so the athlete will take a hit and you won’t really tell how bad they are for sometimes a couple of days,” he said.

Portland Public Schools recently changed their concussion policy to include training staff, and middle and high school athletes on how to handle concussions.

Read more: http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/Former-NFL-player-opens-up-about-concussion-history/-/8792012/19213566/-/xsr2koz/-/index.html#ixzz2MsiIixLk