Concussion Concurrence: NFL Standardizes Evaluation Guidelines

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Hopefully, these new safety guidelines will make 300-pound men tackling each other a bit safer.

After finding conclusive evidence of the neurological damages caused by concussions during football, the NFL is taking a step to improve player health and safety. New standardized concussion evaluation guidelines will be enforced during the 2011-2012 season, announced the league’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee Friday. The guidelines are a revised version of protocol established at the 2008 Concussion in Sport group, with unique tuning for football.

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The guidelines include a symptoms checklist, a cognitive evaluation, a neurologic examination and a balance assessment. “It incorporates the most important aspects of a focused exam, so that injury is identified, and athletes with concussion and more serious head and spine injury can be removed from play,” said Dr. Margot Putukian, a member of the Head, Neck and Spine Committee.