WHITE PLAINS, NY - June 24, 2011 -- Burke Rehabilitation Hospital now offers an Outpatient Sports Related Concussion Management Program at the hospital’s White Plains campus to evaluate and treat student and adult athletes after suffering a traumatic sports-related head injury. The timing for such a program could not be more suitable with the state of New York passing legislation this week that requires coaches to immediately pull athletes off the field if the player suffers a concussion or a potential concussion. The State’s new Concussion Management and Awareness Act states coaches should assume the student who experiences a blow to the head and developes cognitive, behavioral and/or physical symptoms has a concussion until proven otherwise. The legislation applies to students at public schools involved in school-related sports and activities. The new law also prohibits students from returning to sports until he or she has been symptom free for no less than 24 hours and has received written clearance from a physician to return to sports.
Barry Jordan, MD is the Director of Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Program as well as the Medical Director of the Sports Concussion Management Program.
He is also a recognized expert in the area of traumatic brain injury and sports concussion. Dr. Jordan has been treating concussion injuries for more than 20 years. He served as a volunteer physician at the United States Olympic Training Program and currently serves on the National Football League Player Association Mackey-White Traumatic Brain Injury Committee. Dr. Jordan is also the former Chief Medical Officer for the New York State Athletic Commission.
According to Jordan, “The program was designed to meet the recommendations of the 3rdInternational Consensus Conference on Sports Concussion held in Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 for evaluation and treatment of athletes who suffer sports-related head injuries which are more comprehensive than the New York legislation,” he said. The guidelines from the international conference specify that an athlete should be evaluated and treated by a licensed health care professional, and receive medical approval in order for them to return to playing sports after suffering a head injury. The recommendations include a standardized assessment tool to be utilized by medical professionals to evaluate sports concussion in athletes and for making Return to Play (RTP) decisions.
The Burke Rehabilitation Sports Concussion Management program includes a comprehensive neurological evaluation, neuropsychological testing, and when necessary, a referral for neuro-imaging. It also includes rehabilitation components such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy when medically indicated.
The program can also treat other sports-related neurological injuries such as seizures, and neck and back injuries.
The Burke program is unique in that it also offers an educational component for athletes regarding the dangers of repeated head injuries. Dr. Jordan’s goal is to help prevent a later catastrophic head injury often referred to as “Second Impact Syndrome” where a traumatic head injury is followed by a second, often more serious brain injury that can cause serious permanent injury or even death. Jordan, who attended the Zurich conference, believes “Concussions are a serious health issue and require immediate diagnoses and medical management in order to help ensure student athletes have the best possible medical outcomes.” “The Outpatient Sports Concussion Management Program is needed in our community and expands Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s comprehensive rehabilitation programs,” he said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions are suffered each year. According to Jordan, “Any athlete who suffers a blow to the head and experiences any change in neurological function should report it to their coach or parent immediately in order for them to access medical attention.” “It’s the only way to help keep our student athletes safe and healthy,” he added.
For additional information about Burke Rehabilitation Hospital’s Outpatient Sports Concussion Management Program or to schedule an outpatient appointment with Dr. Barry Jordan, please call (914) 597- 2332.