Head injuries during sports are common, but until now coaches and
players had little hope of distinguishing a concussion from a minor
injury. In the past, coaches, trainers and sports medicine specialists
have relied upon notoriously inaccurate rating factors such as loss of
consciousness and confusion to determine whether a player should exit
the game and receive treatment. Now, with reports
on the advent of a new instant blood test to measure for a particular
protein, those days may be over. Further, coaches and other team
support personnel may be held to a higher standard of diagnosis and may
be held liable if they fail to utilize this available technology to
determine if a player has suffered a dangerous head injury.
What Is This New “Concussion Blood Test?”
The study focused on college athletes in Rochester, New York, and Munich, Germany. This study was published in PLOS ONE by
a University of Rochester researcher who has been investigating the use
of S100B protein analysis for on-field diagnosis of concussions and
other head injuries.
S100B is what is known as a “biomarker” that appears in the blood after a traumatic brain injury.
In Europe, the use of this analysis is already in place to determine
which patients are at high risk for intracranial bleeding. However,
while S100B is a very reliable indicator of head trauma, its blood
levels also tend to rise after physical exertion, making it difficult
for coaches and others to rely on these test results to diagnose a head
injury on the field.
The solution may be to “baseline” the athletes prior to the time when
they might sustain a head injury. Baseline tests were performed on
athletes in the study and then new tests were performed after practices
and after injuries. These results showed only a two percent increase in
S100B after a practice session but a huge 81 percent increase after a
head injury. Because the athletes were tested initially, there was a
number to which coaches could compare their post-injury scores in order
to make an informed decision about sending them for medical treatment.
Can I Recover Damages for a Head Injury?
If you suffer a concussion through an accident or while playing
sports, it is important to seek immediate medical treatment. It is also
important to protect your rights by talking to a personal injury
attorney about your case. Scarlett Law Group in San Francisco, California, is ready to work with you on your head trauma injury case and to help you collect compensation if possible.