Following the 2010 season, the National Football League has handed down new standards for assessing traumatic brain injury on the sidelines. In the past year, 233 concussions were reported in the NFL in regular, pre- and post-season games. The new standards require players to meet clear criteria before being allowed to return to play. Kansas City residents who engage, or whose children engage in football play, should understand the protocol and the need for continually bettering the systems by which head injuries are assessed and diagnosed.

Among the new guidelines:

1. Injured players must recite three given numbers in reverse sequence.
2. Players will be asked to maintain a standing position with feel together, eyes closed, and hands on hips for 20 seconds.
3. An ordered list of words will be given as well, which players will be asked to repeat back. Order will not matter for this exercise.
4. Additional questions, basic in nature, will be asked.

Similar testing has been in place for a few years. The new guidelines create a new standardized protocol applicable in all venues. The newest changes come from a survey of medical staff from teams within the League. The existence of a standardized sideline practice will help take the guesswork out of diagnosing players.

The new standards parallel the protocol already in practice, but provide a level of uniformity that will hopefully dispel the influence and pressure of returning to the game too quickly. Further treatment will given if determined necessary. If a player exhibits any of the following, he will be considered in "no go" status, and pulled from the rest of practice or the game.

1. Unconsciousness
2. Amnesia, loss of memory
3. Confusion
4. Neurological issues with balance, coordination, etc.
5. Inability to concentrate, trouble with recall and response to test questions
6. Headache, nausea, dizziness
7. Worsening symptoms

The standardized approach comes after years of further research that continues to point to the danger of repetitive head injuries and concussions, even when the concussion is considered mild.

Football is a dangerous sport. If you or a loved one has been injured on the football field, you may have questions about your rights. 

Have You Or A Loved One Suffered A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

If you've suffered a brain or spinal cord injury you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.