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Athletic Training Services Team
Texas Medical Center/San Jacinto
Jeff Collins, LAT
Jace Duke, ATC, LAT
Emery Hill, ATC, LAT
Terry King, LAT
Michelle Leget, ATC, LAT
Lashelle Brown Okonkwo, ATC, LAT
Scott Tidwell, LAT
Jerry Meins, ATC, LAT
Stephen Melancon, ATC, LAT
Brandon Roberts, ATC, LAT
Bill Wissen, ATC, LAT
Richard Gregoire, ATC, LAT
Layne Schramm, ATC, LAT
Dwight Adsit, ATC, LAT
Paula Douglas, ATC, LAT
Keith Jahn, ATC, LAT
Mike Pace, ATC, LAT
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Sports Safety: A Paramount Concern
Each year, approximately 2.6 million student athletes under the age of 19 require medical treatment for sports-related injuries. As we begin the 2013-14 athletic year, the health, safety and welfare of student athletes is paramount.
In 2007, following several catastrophic deaths of Texas student athletes, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) established the Health & Safety Committee to develop and provide access to important health and safety information for students, parents and coaches. Since then, the Texas Legislature has stepped in to write and adopt several laws pertaining to athletic health and safety.
State Mandated Sport Safety Requirements since 2007:
- CPR & AED requirements for staff and students
- Sports safety training for coaches and sponsors
- Anabolic steroid testing and education program
- Concussion program and return to play protocols
- Cardiac clearance form
- Cheerleader safety
Policies and recommendations for safe participation are listed on the UIL website, including recommendations for cold weather, hot weather, lightning safety, hydration and staph infection prevention. The most recent guidelines issued by the UIL limit practice length, as well as contact days and the number of minutes of full contact practice per week. To view the new UIL mandates, click here.
The last six years have seen needed change in the approach to the health and safety of our adolescent student athletes. It is incumbent upon all parties involved – administrators, coaches, athletic trainers and athletes themselves – to become cognizant of safe participation in sports. Since sports carry an inherent risk of injury, the need to concentrate on injury prevention has become the most important ideal for youth leagues and amateur interscholastic athletics, as well as collegiate and professional level sports participation.
Preseason Conditioning to Prevent Sports Injuries
As we start the preseason phase of fall sports, the need for athletic fitness is important. Kennedy et al. (2012) reported that 76 percent of all athletes reported one or more injuries during their season and over 40 percent of males and over 66 percent of females reported preseason injury. Preseason fitness can predict time to injury. Preseason practice injury rates (6.3 per 1000 exposures) were analyzed (Agel & Schisel, 2013) and found to be almost three times the in-season injury rate (2.3 per 1000 exposures). Interestingly, women's soccer had the highest preseason injury rate (9.5 per 1000 exposures).
As we study sports health and safety, it is important for all involved to prepare for an upcoming season with preseason conditioning. Student athletes that report in a deconditioned state are at increased risk of injury. Coaches and athletic trainers need to recognize deconditioned athletes and understand their potential for injury. With the mandates imposed by the UIL and the Texas Legislature, common sense must prevail. All staff members must prepare themselves and their staff for the potential of injury. Leaders must take responsibility for safe sports participation and help minimize the risk of injury. If an emergency action plan is in place, and recommendations and mandates are implemented, the risk of injury, and especially catastrophic injury, can be minimized.
The outreach athletic training staff at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is available to assist in you with your preseason injury prevention planning. Contact your Houston Methodist athletic trainer today!
Houston Methodist Concussion Center: Leading Concussion Care
As the first of its kind in Houston, the Houston Methodist Concussion Center is a multi-specialty, comprehensive center designed to care for all aspects of concussion. The center's comprehensive approach to concussion care includes:
- Diagnosis and treatment for concussion.
- Administration and interpretation of Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT®) baseline and post-injury test results, as well as comprehensive neuropsychological testing.
- Education on concussion for athletes, athletic trainers, coaches and parents at the school and youth sport levels.
- Ongoing research concerning the long-term effects of sports-related concussions.
Since the inception of the center in April 2010, specialists and staff have worked tirelessly to provide timely clinical care and community education about the signs and symptoms, dangers and proper medical management of concussions.
The initial funding provided by the Houston Texans, as well as the public endorsement by Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, paved the way for the recruitment of the center's outreach athletic trainer and the creation of its outreach materials. Our outreach program covers over a 150 mile radius around Houston encompassing more than 250 schools. In 2012, the center educated more than 10,000 people, performed baseline testing for over 4,000 area high school and collegiate athletes and performed more than 1,300 concussion-related evaluations and treatments.
Howard Derman, M.D., neurologist, is co-director of Houston Methodist Concussion Center and associate professor of neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Derman is a founding member of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute (NI). He has a special interest in the treatment of migraine headaches, concussions and other pain syndromes affecting the nervous system. Dr. Derman is a concussion consultant for the Houston Dynamo, Houston Texans, RodeoHouston® and Rice University Athletics.
Kenneth Podell, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, is co-director of Houston Methodist Concussion Center and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of individuals who have sustained brain injury or disease, with particular expertise in sports concussion, traumatic brain injury and dementia. He has consulted with several professional teams and serves on the NCAA Concussion Task Force as well as a team neuropsychological consultant for the Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, Houston Texans, RodeoHouston® and Rice University Athletics.
Primary Care Sports Medicine – Concussion Specialists
- David A. Braunreiter, M.D.
- Vijay Jotwani, M.D.
- Scott Rand, M.D.
- Christian Schupp, M.D.
- Gregory M. Seelhoefer, M.D.
- Texas Medical Center
- Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP)
- Sugar Land
- Timmons (Greenway Plaza area)
Contacting the Houston Methodist Concussion Center
Deidre Duke, ATC, LAT, is the Houston Methodist Concussion Center liaison. She has worked in the athletic training profession for 16 years and is passionate about concussion management, return to play, education and research. Deidre's medical knowledge and experience, coupled with her solid relationships with schools in the greater Houston area, have allowed her to provide concussion education to numerous area schools and youth sports organizations. She also oversees all of the center's ImPACT® baseline testing and education efforts.
To contact Deidre to schedule an appointment or an educational seminar, call 713-441-8277 or visit the center's website.