Authors: Luis Gude, MD, Gillian Hotz, PHD
Gillian Hotz Ph.D
Lois Pope LIFE Center – 1-40, (R-48)
1095 NW 14th Terrace
Miami, Florida 33136.
Gillian A. Hotz, PhD is a research professor at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and a nationally recognized behavioral neuroscientist and expert in pediatric and adult neurotrauma, concussion management, and neurorehabilitation.
Dr. Hotz is the director of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center, WalkSafe, BikeSafe, and SkateSafe programs, and has been co-director of the Miller School of Medicine’s Concussion Program since 1995. She continues to assess and treat many athletes from Miami-Dade County public and private high schools, the University of Miami, and from other colleges and the community.
Increased Identification of Concussions in High School Wrestlers after Rule Change
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report on concussions identified in high school wrestlers, and to compare the number of injuries before and after the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) enacted a rule change prior to the start of the 2019-20 season that increased the amount of time that an appropriate health-care professional may use to evaluate for a suspected sport related concussion (SRC) from 30 seconds to 5 minutes during competition.
Methods: The subjects of this study were wrestlers from Miami Dade County public high schools who sustained a sports related concussion from August 2017 to March 2020, identified from the Miami Concussion Model Concussion Injury Surveillance System. The database is compiled from reports submitted by certified athletic trainers after a suspected concussion, post-injury ImPACT tests, and from patients who presented to the University of Miami Sports Concussion Clinic for evaluation.
Results: A total of 37 wrestlers were identified. The 2019-20 academic year accounted for the greatest number of injuries (17, 46%), including the highest number of injuries identified that occurred during competition and practice compared to previous years.
Conclusions: The increase in identified concussions in wrestlers in the 2019-20 season is likely multifactorial given increased knowledge, education, and training on SRC that is targeted to athletes, parents, coaches, and athletic trainers. The increase in the number of injuries identified during competition is also likely attributable to the rule change instituted by the NFHS prior to the start of the 2019-20 season.
Applications in Sport: It is important to identify sport related concussions when they occur so that these athletes may seek treatment and obtain proper clearance prior to return to play, which may decrease the risk of subsequent SRC and long-term sequelae of mild traumatic brain injuries. Our findings support the rule change instituted by the NFHS prior to the start of the 2019-20 season as this increased the amount of time that an appropriate health-care professional may use to evaluate for a suspected SRC and likely contributed to an increase in the number of SRC identified in wrestlers during competition.(more…)