When sports injuries in Hollywood or other communities occur, one of the big challenges is evaluating the injuries to determine what next steps need to be taken. Whether the injuries affect a child or a professional athlete, coaches and other staff need to decide whether the player is well enough to return to the game or whether medical treatment is needed.
In many cases, serious head injuries in Hollywood and other communities rely heavily on this initial assessment. If a player has sustained a concussion or other head injury, it is important that they not return to the game before they have been properly evaluated by a doctor. If returned to play too early, they risk a secondary and more serious brain injury.
The problem with many brain injuries is that they are hard to detect, especially on the sidelines in the middle of a game without a doctor present. According to the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, however, a good diagnosis can be given in many cases by administering the King-Devick test and other simple tests to players who have been injured.
The King-Devick test is a simple vision test that requires injured athletes to read a serious of numbers within a specific period of time. The numbers are placed on three cards and become harder to read because of the way they are arranged. An athlete without an injury should be able to read all the numbers within a minute.
According to Dr. Laura Balcer of the Langone Medical Center at New York University, the King-Devick test works because visual pathways are so important to the brain. The idea is that if the brain is injured, these are likely to be injured as well, so a vision test may be more effective in detecting concussions when compared with standard cognitive tests. The King-Devick test can also help detect some of the more common visual problems that signal a concussion, such as:
•Coordination problems with the head or eyes
In a University of Florida study, 217 athletes were given a series of tests, including a cognitive test known as the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) test, as well as the more physical Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) test and the King-Devick test. Researchers concluded that the King-Devick test was more accurate in finding concussions. The King-Devick test provided a 79% accurate detection rate. When all three tests were administered, however, there was a 100% rate of success in detecting concussions.
Since sports-related child injuries in Hollywood so often involve head injuries and since college and professional athletes are also at risk, it seems that administering all three tests when a player is injured is an excellent way to ensure that injured players are not let back into the game before they have had a chance to heal.
Of course, part of the challenge will be to ensure that coaches administer the tests correctly each time a head injury is possible. Currently, Dr. Balcer is conducting more research with hockey coaches, to see how effectively these tests can be administered by coaches in game situations.
If you or your child has suffered a head injury, you deserve support and legal advice. You can always reach Flaxman Law Group to arrange a free consultation to discuss your potential case.