Posted on Dec 26, 2011

At a hearing, two female students who had suffered from concussions due to school sports went before a committee to tell them how their lives have been affected and in the hopes of helping other athletes avoid suffering as they do.

Sarah Rainey, a soccer player, talked about how she had lost consciousness during a game because of a blow to the head.  She took a sip of water after regaining consciousness and went right back to playing the rest of the game.  However, she can’t remember the rest of the game, including two overtimes.  Rainey hasn’t played a game since because she suffers from headaches, pressure in her head, it takes her three times longer to do anything, and she now has to use a calculator for simple arithmetic.  She often has to go to the nurses office to nap during classes because of the concussion.

Michele Pelton, a former student and soccer player, told the panel about how every day has been a struggle since getting a concussion her senior year in high school.  She wasn’t able to be a part of normal senior activities and often missed school because of headaches, depression, memory loss, an inability to concentrate, cognitive issues, and slow processing speed.  She still suffers from these issues today.

Instead of concentrating on how a concussion affects students on the field and what the coaches should do, this hearing was about the classroom and concentrated on how female students are affected by concussions.  Students spend most of their time in the classroom than they do on the field, so teachers need to be educated so that they can recognize the symptoms of a concussion; which include students being unresponsive, listless, dizzy, and suffering from headaches.  Teachers should also be more understanding and sympathetic to the needs of a student who has suffered from a concussion.

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