Rochester Regional Health reacts to new national sports concussion study

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) In a new study from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Database, fall sports like soccer, football, hockey and cheerleading took some hits. 

“So what happened in a concussion is that the eyes and balance system get uncoordinated with what the brain is trying to do. You have to look at everything with concussions. There’s stress, there’s depression, there’s anxiety, there’s concentration difficulties,” says Dr. Daniel Day of Rochester Regional Health.

“When we look at this study, it does a good job of giving us some numbers,” says Day. And there was some good news in the study.

“Practice…within practice, concussions decreased.”

Recurrent concussions also decreased, but concussions during actual game play did increase or remain steady, especially in the big three: boys’ football, girls’ soccer and boys’ ice hockey. Dr. Day and his team are trying to figure out why. 

“There’s a lot of factors that can play a role in that,” says Dr. Day. He and his team aren’t taking any chances and play it safe with concussion patients. 

“Within that ‘return to learn, return to play’, we’re really giving them a good chance to recover. By the time we’re clearing them, we think the brain’s recovered and we think that they’re safe to go back,” he says.

At multiple games across the region Friday night, attendees say the climate on concussions is changing for the better. 

“People are erring much more on the side of being safe than sorry,” says Dave Hennessey, High School Coach.

Nick Harmonson, High School Coach says, “A lot of parents that I see we talk about concussions and they are against their kids playing rough sports like football.”

“The coaches at my school are really good and they really like to make sure that we’re safe,” says student athlete Kayla Raye. Her mother Colleen adds, “I like that they’re taking it more seriously and they have to go through concussion protocol in order to play.”

Parent Sherika Hall says, “I think they’re doing a really good job, changing the helmets, changing the calls, just really watching out for the kids.”

Since diagnosing during a sporting event can be difficult, Dr. Day has one line of advice on game day: “When in doubt, set ’em out.”

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