COLONIE – Monday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m., the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) and the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA) will be hosting a concussion prevention and education seminar at Colonie Central High School.
The Concussion Outreach Prevention & Education (COPE) seminar is a program designed by BIANYS and NYSATA that provides valuable information on how to successfully return a concussed student back to their sports and their classrooms, as well as ways to prevent concussions.
Both BIANYS and NYSATA are well-known and established statewide organizations with an expertise in concussions. While BIANYS helps victims of concussions and has a history of concussion education, NYSATA has a prevalent role in recognizing concussions and managing recovery.
Their seminar will offer perspectives from medical staff, athletic trainers, and education professionals on the signs and symptoms of concussions, management and treatment, preventative measures, and guidelines for returning to play.
“There are between 1.6-3.8 million sports-related concussions a year, and this isn’t even the leading cause of concussions.” said Michelle Kellen M.Ed., a BIANYS Professional Development Manager and panelist for the seminar.
Concussions are a concerning and common occurrence in youth sports; a blow to the head can cause nerve injury, decreased blood flow, and inflammation that gives concussions their symptoms: nausea, dizziness and confusion, to more severe symptoms such as slurred speech, seizures or loss of consciousness.
Kellen says that while the average recovery time is typically around two weeks, for some, symptoms can last much longer and can develop into persistent post-concussion syndrome if left unchecked.
“Long-term outcomes [of concussions] are still poorly understood,” said Thomas Barber, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellow for Albany Medical Center. “What we do know is that repeated head injuries in a short time can lead to chronic symptoms and poor long term outcomes. That is why recognition, diagnosis, appropriate treatment and return to play is so important.”
Barber says that the strongest predictor of poor long-term outcomes is repeated, short interval head injuries, which means recognizing a concussion and its symptoms is important to protect the athlete’s long-term health and keep them playing at their highest level for as long as possible.
While the seminar is geared towards athletic trainers, coaches, and parents, it is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.