NBA player suggests uniform policy for handling concussions

In previous posts we have discussed the overall need for more awareness of the long-term effects of concussions, especially for sports players who frequently suffer head injuries. We have focused on the prevalence of head injuries sustained during football practices and games, and how the NFL made the decision last year to crackdown and penalize individuals for giving hard hits to other players.

The NBA may also be considering a uniform policy regarding what to do when a player receives a concussion on the court. A forward for the Milwaukee Bucks voiced his concerns about the lack of a league-wide policy after he suffered a concussion and was told that he was able to continue playing without undergoing any tests.

The Bucks forward, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, recalled that when he played for UCLA and sustained a concussion during a game, he was prevented from playing in any more games until he underwent a series of neurocognitive tests. He was out for a total of eight days. However, when the professional basketball player sustained a concussion on Jan. 1 during a game against Dallas, doctors simply asked the man how he was feeling and told him he could continue playing just three days later. The forward was surprised and said, “I didn’t have to do any tests because we were on the road and doctors were here.”

Although concussions are rare in the NBA, other players have suffered concussion-like symptoms and have had to sit out for a number of games. The Bucks forward wants the league to consider a uniform policy that requires every head injury to be handled by the league in order to prevent serious brain injuries. The NBA claims that they do take concussions seriously, but data does prove that the number of players sustaining concussions has increased in recent years. The number of concussions players received in the NBA has increased by 30 percent since 2008.

There are varying degrees of brain damage, but research does show that subsequent concussions can cause a serious brain injury. One can sustain a concussion in a car crash, construction accident or contact sport. The Milwaukee Bucks player wants the NBA to understand the seriousness of the matter and hopes that the league will set policies in place to handle every head injury carefully.

Source:Associated Press: “Buck believes NBA needs concussion protocol,” 8 Feb. 2011