There are now many different types of smartphone applications that aim to help parents, coaches and others on the sidelines manage athletes who suffer a concussion. Although the influx of different apps is promising and indeed very helpful, it can be difficult to determine which one is best or which type of assessment tool is right for your specific situation. Traumatic brain injury attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm outline a few tips on how to choose the right app for you and your family.
A team of researchers recently conducted a review of 18 of the best mobile concussion assessment applications, 13 of which were free to download. The authors noted that these apps should not be used as a ‘do-it-yourself’ guide in place of a physician, but should be a tool to help players with suspected concussions seek and provide accurate information to medical providers.
Researchers ranked the apps, which were designed for public use, in three different categories most important in concussions: balance, TBI symptoms, and memory function. Each of the areas had a ranking system of zero to two – two meaning all necessary diagnostic information was complete, and zero meaning there was no information.
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The apps that scored the highest in completeness were designed around the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2, which is the international standard for concussion diagnosis. Among the best was an app called “Concussion,” which scored twos in memory function and symptoms, and “ImPACT Concussion Awareness Tool.” Two of the analyzed apps scored zeroes in all three categories, however.
Now for a few tips on choosing the best app for your unique purposes:
¢ Make sure the app is intended for public use and not just for medical professionals
¢ Many of the best apps were endorsed by a recognized agency or organization, such as the Concussion in Sport Group
¢ The worst apps had advertisements or commercial messages
¢ The best apps also contained references to best practice standard and had clear contact information for support
One of the apps studied, created by Hockey Canada Concussion Awareness for Kids, was designed specifically to educate children on sports concussions (though, as the name implies, it is intended almost exclusively for hockey players). Another was an easy-to-use mobile version of the King-Devick test. Among the best were: the “Concussion Recognition and Response,” and the “Concussion App from Sports Safety labs LLC.”
Too often, high school and college athletes continue to play in games after suffering a concussion or other type of TBI. In fact, a new study concluded that more than half of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms and without informing coaches of their injuries.
Most states now have laws that aim to prevent unrecognized concussions, however, young athletes are still trying to hide their symptoms simply because they want to stay in the game. In other words, they consider the short-term consequences of leaving the game more important than the possibility of long-term repercussions. If a concussion is left untreated, or if further injury is inflicted on top of a concussion, the results can be devastating or even fatal.
Every year more than 100,000 teens under the age of 19 are admitted to emergency rooms for sports-related concussions. Experts are focusing on improving diagnostic tools to be used on sidelines and educating players on the symptoms and true dangers of concussions. Most people, particularly younger high schoolers, are unaware that after the first concussion the player is three times more likely to suffer another. Much needs to be done to curb the lack of awareness and change the culture of young athletics to prevent catastrophic accidents.
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Our team of traumatic brain injury lawyers have been advocating on behalf of those suffering concussions and other serious head injuries of all ages for nearly three decades. We have seen how much damage these types of injuries can have on families, and are here to help anyone with questions about sports-related injuries. Our legal consultations are always free, no-obligation, and confidential, and we can come meet you at your home to discuss your case and guide you through the legal process.