Kentucky is among the country’s leaders in managing youth sports concussions

Published 06-19-2012 7:35 AM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  

While we often hear that Kentucky lags in many measures of health, it is near the top in its understanding and management of sports concussions.

Recently the Kentucky legislature passed the Kentucky Youth Concussion Legislation (House Bill 281 and House Resolution 58) that stipulates how concussions will be managed in our youth, middle school and high school sports leagues. Kentucky is only the second state in the country to have passed this kind of law to include non-scholastic youth sports.

This legislation and leadership in understanding sports concussions has been fueled by a coalition of Kentucky researchers, athletic trainers, legislators, sports medicine physicians and medical researchers. On Saturday, June 9, nearly 100 experts attended the third annual Sports Concussion Summit in Lexington, sponsored by UK HealthCare's Sports Medicine Program, the Norton Neuroscience Institute and Balance Engineering.

While sports concussion medicine is in its infancy, presentations and discussions on preventing, diagnosing, treating, rehabilitating and tracking concussions in youth, middle school, high school and college athletes will help Kentucky continue to improve safety and concussion management for our athletes. UK was well represented at the summit by presenters Scott Black, MD; Erika Erlandson, MD; Dan Han, PsyD; Scott Livingston, PhD; and Jennifer McKeon, PhD.

One of the major takeaways of the meeting was the importance of coaches, trainers and parents to direct any athlete (of any age) who is known or suspected to have sustained a concussion to be examined by a health care provider trained and experienced in concussion management before resuming contact sports activity.

To learn more about sports concussions and to access the presentation materials from the Sports Concussion Summit, visit the UK Continuing Medical Education website.


UK HealthCare's Scott Livingston, PhD, director of UK's Concussion Assessment Research Laboratory and a member of UK's Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center, reviews what we in medicine know about concussions at the third annual Sports Concussion Summit. To his right is UK HealthCare's Jennifer McKeon, PhD (faculty, Division of Athletic Training), and on his left is Michael Sowell, MD (Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Louisville).

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