5128.1 A Community Approach to Address Traumatic Brain Injury in Sports and Recreation

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:30 AM
Panel Discussion
At least 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year. Of those individuals, about 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million are treated and released from an emergency department. The number of people with TBI who are not seen in a hospital or emergency department or who receive no care is currently unknown (CDC). The long term impact that traumatic brain injury has on an individual’s quality of life can be devastating, resulting in life-long physical and mental health problems, and posing a major burden on families and communities. In line with the conference theme, “Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies”, a discussion on the input and expertise required from a range of community members is critical to identify how to effectively promote safe and healthy physical fitness, sports, and outdoor recreation . This special session will bring together nationally recognized experts from the fields of medicine, public health, health education, and the media to discuss the public health implications surrounding traumatic brain injury in sports and recreation and to address the specific policy, educational, and medical gaps that must be bridged to more effectively address this problem nationwide. The topic of sport-related concussion has captured the public’s attention like few others. There have been efforts among Federal agencies, sport-governing bodies, state legislatures, scientists, educators, and others to enact major changes in how sport-related concussion is recognized, managed, and prevented. We are now in the midst of a sea change in our understanding of sport-related concussion with tremendous strides having been made in the following areas: • Recognition of signs and symptoms • Recognition of athletes willingness to under-report signs and symptoms of concussion • Development of concussion management guidelines • Multi-state legislation surrounding care of student-athletes related to concussion • Mandatory educational initiatives for coaches, parents, and student-athletes • Changes among the medical community’s approach toward care of the concussed athlete • Recognition of the health risks of premature return to play • Identification of gender differences in the clinical presentation of concussion While these are but some of the advancements that have recently been made, we have much to understand about this virtually invisible injury and the long-term effects that it may entail. Some of the basic questions we need to address include: • What mechanisms cause a concussion? • Are there different thresholds for concussions among various demographic strata? • What are the long-term consequences of a single concussion, multiple concussions, and sub-concussive impacts at the microbiological, behavioral, and functional levels? • Are there evidence-based treatments for concussion that reflect the broad range of symptomology? • What policies should be considered by school districts, recreational sports leagues, and other entities involved with organized athletic activities? This panel will include many of the principals who are leading us toward a better understanding and management of sport-related concussion and are helping to define what is known and what is not. From this perspective, the panel will address how healthy communities can promote healthy minds and healthy bodies.
Session Objectives: Describe the mechanisms that cause a concussion and the long term consequences of various kinds of concussion. Identify the evidence-based treatments for concussion that reflect the broad range of symptomology. Explain what policies should be considered by school districts, recreational sports leagues, and other community entities involved with organized athletic activities.
Sara B. Newman, DrPH, MCP

Keynote Address: Senator Tom Udall

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services