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Local Sports Medicine Physician High School Highlights Importance of Concussion Safety

The football world is taking a step back as a video of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury continues to circulate on social media.

Traverse City Central Athletic Director Justin Thorrington said: “It’s clearly not looking good. “Considering the fact that he tripped on the field two weeks ago and what happened last night, it doesn’t look good.”

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Tagovailoa suffered a concussion.

“This is a head injury where there is a hard blow to the head and the brain is damaged,” said Thomas O’Hagan, Ph.D., an orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine at the Great Lakes Orthopedic Center. “You can think of it as the brain essentially rattling around in the skull, which causes a concussion.”

TCAPS and the Great Lakes Orthopedic Center have partnered to have athletic trainers and sports doctors on the sidelines of each home game.

“Since we have the MHSAA protocol, if we know a child has a concussion, there are actually steps to take before returning to practice,” Thorington says.

Dr. O’Hagan said it’s a gradual process when an athlete is suspected of having a concussion.

“When I have a concern or a question, I drag the athlete to the side and remove the helmet,” he said. “Usually the trainer and I do the assessment, and then we typically run a series of questions and a protocol where we observe the athlete and observe their reactions.”

From there, they decide on the best course of action.

“If a concussion is suspected, the player will miss the rest of the game,” Dr. O’Hagan said. “If not, the player is considered safe and he is doing well. Then you can rejoin the game.”

Dr. O’Hagan said there are some side effects when someone suffers a concussion.

“Players get some amnesia, so they answer questions like the score, today’s date, who they’re playing against,” he said. “They can be sensitive to light, have headaches, and have trouble concentrating later, so if you look for them right away, you’ll see the signs.”

Dr. O’Hagan says concussion awareness and education has changed dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years.

“There’s a big difference in how careful we are with concussions and protocols and safety measures,” he said. plays a huge role in.”

Torrington said there will also be changes to when players can practice their contact times.

“I have to keep track of my contact hours for practice, especially since I’ve been in school,” he said. “The more you learn about concussions, the more you will be able to react.”

Brain damage is invisible, but health experts and athletes say it needs to be taken seriously.

“It’s true that we know more about head injuries than ever before, but it makes the sport of football safer than ever,” Thorrington said. “We were able to act accordingly.”