A bill sponsored by a Norfolk legislator that would provide added health protections for high school athletes with head injuries is on its way to Governor McDonnell’s desk. Under the measure that passed the General Assembly, high school coaches would be required to sideline any player with concussion symptoms until the student is cleared to return to action by a licensed health professional.

The bill’s sponsor, Norfolk State Senator Ralph S. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, told the Washington Post that…

“The common scenario is that they come to my office on a Monday or Tuesday after they’ve sustained their concussion in Friday’s game,” he said. “They’re trying to get cleared to play on the next Friday. I tell them, ‘You have many more games to play, but you only have one brain.’” Northam said his bill requires that athletes who show signs of head injury be taken immediately out of a game or practice…Northam said he hopes [the] law will prevent coaches, parents and students from putting players back on the field before it is medically safe.

Players who go back on the field prematurely risk second-impact syndrome and/or post-concussion syndrome in which the initial injury leads to even greater brain injury problems, possibly fatal.

Governor McDonnell is reviewing the bill, his spokesperson said. The governor’s signature is necessary for it to become law.

The New Jersey Star Ledger recently released this video report on the risk of long-term brain damage in high school football:

On an everyday basis, most Virginia residents are more likely to suffer a blow to the head in a slip-and-fall accident or in a car crash than in a sports-related injury. However, if you believe that you (or a love one) have sustained a traumatic brain injury regardless of how or where it occurred, it is important to hire experienced legal counsel. The Virginia brain injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C. have the experience needed, and the requisite contacts with the best doctors in the area, to ensure you and your loved ones have the best representation possible in the event. Call Toll Free 877-544–5323 for a no-obligation consultation.


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