While schools are on the lookout for the H-1-N-1 virus as kids come back to classes, doctors have already been advised to take more precautions with possible sports injuries. The Iowa Medical Society’s sports medicine committee recently sent new voluntary guidelines on concussions to doctors statewide who treat young athletes.
Doctor Peter Buck is the chair of the committee and says recent research suggests that even relatively minor symptoms could mean a serious concussion. "If a person gets you know just a little blow to the head and is confused that could be just as significant of a concussion as someone who was knocked out for several minutes," Buck says.
He says that’s a departure from the past when it was thought they could tell at the time of a contest how severe the concussion was. Buck says doctors are likely to be more conservative now about returning an athlete to play even if they haven’t been knocked unconscious.
"If someone has what appears to be a minor type thing, well in the past we might have let them return to play but now that its been pretty well established its difficult to tell at the time of the injury how severe it is, that makes us less inclines to allow them to return," Buck says.
Buck says the guidelines are voluntary and went out in a routine summer mailing to sports physicians. The mailing stresses other routine concerns, including adequate hydration for athletes during warm weather.