Northwestern University School of Medicine study: Concussions and female middle school students

2 Aug

According to Michelle Healy of USA Today, 1.35 million youths a year have serious sports injuries http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/06/injuries-athletes-kids-sports/2612429/ Among those injuries are concussions. Kids Health has some great information about concussions at their site:

What Is a Concussion and What Causes It?
The brain is made of soft tissue and is cushioned by spinal fluid. It is encased in the hard, protective skull. When a person gets a head injury, the brain can move around inside the skull and even bang against it. This can lead to bruising of the brain, tearing of blood vessels, and injury to the nerves. When this happens, a person can get a concussion — a temporary loss of normal brain function.
Most people with concussions recover just fine with appropriate treatment. But it’s important to take proper steps if you suspect a concussion because it can be serious.
Concussions and other brain injuries are fairly common. About every 21 seconds, someone in the United States has a serious brain injury. One of the most common reasons people get concussions is through a sports injury. High-contact sports such as football, boxing, and hockey pose a higher risk of head injury, even with the use of protective headgear.
People can also get concussions from falls, car accidents, bike and blading mishaps, and physical violence, such as fighting. Guys are more likely to get concussions than girls. However, in certain sports, like soccer, girls have a higher potential for concussion.http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/concussions.html#a_What_Is_a_Concussion_and_What_Causes_It_

https://drwilda.com/2012/03/06/dont-ignore-concussions/
See, Update: Don’t ignore concussions https://drwilda.com/2012/05/20/update-dont-ignore-concussions/
More studies are pointing to the risks of girls playing contact sports.

Science Daily reported in Middle-school girls continue to play soccer with concussion symptoms:

Concussions are common among middle-school girls who play soccer, and most continue to play with symptoms, according to a study by John W. O’ Kane, M.D., of the University of Washington Sports Medicine Clinic, Seattle, and colleagues.
Sports-related concussions account for 1.6 to 3.8 million injuries in the United States annually, including about 50,000 soccer-related concussions among high school players. Injury-tracking systems for younger players are lacking so they are largely unstudied, according to the study background.
Using an email survey and interviews, the authors evaluated the frequency and duration of concussions in young female soccer players, as well as whether the injuries resulted in stopping play and seeking medical attention. Their study included 351 soccer players (ages 11 to 14 years) from soccer clubs in the Puget Sound region of Washington.
Among 351 players, there were 59 concussions with 43,742 athletic exposure hours. Concussion symptoms can include memory loss, dizziness, drowsiness, headache and nausea. Cumulative concussion incidence was 13 percent per season with an incidence of 1.2 per 1,000 athletic exposure hours. Symptoms lasted a median four days (average 9.4 days). Heading the ball accounted for 30.5 percent of concussions. Most players (58.6 percent) continued to play with symptoms, with almost half (44.1 percent) seeking medical attention, according to the results.
The authors note that the rate of 1.3 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposure hours was higher than what has been reported in other studies of girls soccer at the high school and college levels…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140120173456.htm

Another study from Northwestern School of Medicine, Concussion and Female Middle School Athletes focuses on girls. Coaches and parents must be alert to signs of concussion. WebMD has a good description of what a concussion is and the signs of concussion http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/traumatic-brain-injury-concussion-overview

Citation:

From The JAMA Network | August 01, 2014
Concussion and Female Middle School Athletes FREE ONLINE FIRST
Cynthia LaBella, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
JAMA. Published online August 01, 2014. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6668
Text Size: A A A
Article
References
JAMA Pediatrics
Concussion Among Female Middle-School Soccer Players
John W. O’Kane, MD; Amy Spieker, MPH; Marni R. Levy, BS; Moni Neradilek, MS; Nayak L. Polissar, PhD; Melissa A. Schiff, MD, MPH
Importance Despite recent increased awareness about sports concussions, little research has evaluated concussions among middle-school athletes.
Objectives To evaluate the frequency and duration of concussions in female youth soccer players and to determine if concussions result in stopping play and seeking medical care.
Design, Setting, and Participants Prospective cohort study from March 2008 through May 2012 among 4 soccer clubs from the Puget Sound region of Washington State, involving 351 elite female soccer players, aged 11 to 14 years, from 33 randomly selected youth soccer teams. Of the players contacted, 83.1% participated and 92.4% completed the study.
Main Outcomes and Measures Concussion cumulative incidence, incidence rate, and description of the number, type, and duration of symptoms. We inquired weekly about concussion symptoms and, if present, the symptom type and duration, the event resulting in symptom onset, and whether the player sought medical attention or played while symptomatic.
Results Among the 351 soccer players, there were 59 concussions with 43 742 athletic exposure hours. Cumulative concussion incidence was 13.0% per season, and the incidence rate was 1.2 per 1000 athletic exposure hours (95% CI, 0.9-1.6). Symptoms lasted a median of 4.0 days (mean, 9.4 days). Heading the ball accounted for 30.5% of concussions. Players with the following symptoms had a longer recover time than players without these symptoms: light sensitivity (16.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .001), emotional lability (15.0 vs 3.5 days, P = .002), noise sensitivity (12.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .004), memory loss (9.0 vs 4.0 days, P = .04), nausea (9.0 vs 3.0 days, P = .02), and concentration problems (7.0 vs 2.0 days, P = .02). Most players (58.6%) continued to play with symptoms, with almost half (44.1%) seeking medical attention.
Conclusions and Relevance Concussion rates in young female soccer players are greater than those reported in older age groups, and most of those concussed report playing with symptoms. Heading the ball is a frequent precipitating event. Awareness of recommendations to not play and seek medical attention is lacking for this age group.
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(3):258-264. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4518.

Parents must be alert to what is happening with the children when they participate in athletic events and activities.

Resources:

Concussions http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/first_aid/concussions.html#a_What_Is_a_Concussion_and_What_Causes_It_

Concussion http://www.emedicinehealth.com/concussion/article_em.htm

Concussion – Overview http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/traumatic-brain-injury-concussion-overview

Related :

Study: Effects of a concussion linger for months https://drwilda.com/2012/12/13/study-effects-of-a-concussion-linger-for-months/

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