Ohio law has a positive impact on the treatment of concussions

Ohio law has a positive impact on the treatment of concussions

One of the more frequent injuries accompanying our youth athletes in Ohio today oftentimes goes unnoticed and sometimes untreated — concussions. Concussions represent 8.9 percent of all high-school athletic injuries. This should be a major concern to all parents, coaches, medical professionals and lawmakers.

As a chiropractic physician, I believe it is critical that Ohio create a law that mandates the state’s medical professionals who can differentially diagnose to be properly educated in concussion management. This is why the state’s chiropractic professionals with proper education and training should be authorized to treat and release concussed athletics.

Most recently the chiropractic profession was working with state lawmakers on House Bill 487 for a uniform standard that would define which medical professional should be permitted to practice concussion management for student athletes and to further require a minimum of six continuing- education hours in concussion management. Fact: Although Ohio previously enacted legislation that requires student athletes to be treated and released before returning to play, there is no mandate in that law that requires team doctors to possess any specialized education or training on concussion management.

That concussion legislation was a step in the right direction, but it did not appropriately address the bigger question of who is most qualified to treat concussions. The law simply punted this duty solely to medical doctors and osteopaths. Though some of these physicians are clearly qualified, not all are prepared educationally or clinically to evaluate, treat and release a student athlete.

As a chiropractic physician who has the ability to differentially diagnose, I believe the new language in the recently passed and signed into law House Bill 487 will provide clarity toward further protecting our student athletes.

As a medical professional, parent and former athlete, I am pleased that our state lawmakers have given serious consideration to the concussion epidemic in Ohio and the impact it could have on our future athletes.

Dr. James Krumpak, Poland