Eagles' Concussions Come Amid New NFL Guidelines

September 13, 2010 4:21:45 PM PDT
Week 1 was a rough one in the NFL. Not only did Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley suffer concussions, so did at least 2 other NFL players.

Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers, and Kevin Boss of the New York Giants were also knocked out in their game.

New NFL guidelines this season mean more tests and checks before players can return to the field.

They state that a player who suffers a concussion should not return to play on the same day if he has any of these symptoms:

-Loss of consciousness

-Confusion

-Amnesia

-Abnormal neurological exam

-Headache, especially if it also comes with nausea, vomiting or dizziness.

A concussion is basically a bruise to the brain.

It happens whenr the head is moving, then suddenly stops. The skull stops, but the brain keeps moving, slamming againstr the inside of the skull.

For the Eagles, first it was starting quarterback Kevin Kolb who took a brutal hit.

Five minutes later, linebacker Stewart Bradley slammed his head into his teammate's hip.

He got up, then stumbled, and fell to the ground.

Both returned to play later in the second quarter, but they were taken out at halftime, because they were showing concussion symptoms.

Coach Andy Reid says both players were initially examined on the field... And were initially cleared to play.

"We didn't just stick em out there without having followed the protocol. But we also made sure we stayed on top of it," said Reid.

Dr. Robert Franks, a head injury and concussion specialist at Cooper does not work with the Eagles.

So, he says he can't comment on how or when the players were pulled.

But he says the important thing is that they are out of harm's way now.

Had either Kolb or Bradley been hit again after suffering a concussion, it could have lead to second impact syndrome, which can be fatal.

Dr. Franks says, "The brain can lose its ability to regulate itself properly, the brain can herniate through the skull and basically if you survive because a lot of people don't, you can have permanent mental and physical damage from that hit."

He says that's one of the reasons behind the stricter guidelines.

He says it's also the reason that -

"There's a saying in concussion management, that when in doubt sit them out."

The NFL also lays out a protocol for tests which must be met before a player returns to play.

Reid says, "What you're looking at is, really 24 hours after the injury and then 3 days, then 5 days is the normal protocol."

Dr. Franks says the IMPACT test, now widely used by head injury specialists, can help spot trouble,

In one element, athletes are given a series of words, then asked to later pick the word that was not given in that series.

Dr. Franks says NFL players all have had baseline tests done. That way doctors can tell if there are problems after a hit.

This is something they are trying to do for athletes at all levels, because after a hit even if a player wants to play, it's up to the medical staff to make sure it's safe to play.

"We have a responsibility to you, your team your family to make sure you do it safely," says Dr. Franks.


Load Comments