Chiropractors Could Soon Clear Youth Athletes After Concussions
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 09:22 AM

Chiropractors in Ohio have won the latest round of an ongoing fight with Ohio physicians over who should be allowed to clear young athletes to play after suffering a concussion.

For two years, chiropractors have been trying to become part of a new state law designed to educate coaches and ensure young Ohio athletes are pulled from competition when they show concussion-like symptoms.   The Ohio health director will set up a committee of three physicians and three chiropractors to develop guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and clearance of concussions suffered by young athletes. It also will adopt minimum education requirements for those who clear athletes.

The youth-concussion law that passed in late 2012 contained “the best practices for how we’re going to treat kids who get a concussion,” reported the Ohio State Medical Association.  “Because of a physician’s much broader and extensive training than chiropractors or any other allied health professional, they are best equipped to make this critical decision,” he said. “ Ultimately, this is a patient-safety issue.”  Other health-care professions can play a role in the process, but ultimately there needs to be physician oversight. As if there were a monopoly on knowledge the medical association claimed “there is not in the training of a chiropractor anything that is comparable to the comprehensive training that a physician gets.”

Once the committee is finished, it will be determined that more than just physicians are qualified to clear youth athletes after concussions. “We know there are some physicians that may not have recent experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat kids with concussions,” and  “there are certainly other professions that probably have the skill and ability. From a clinical-training standpoint, there is no question the science behind the education gets us” the ability to diagnose and clear a concussed athlete.

“The concerns we had a year ago have been addressed, with strict new standards being developed by experts in this area for all medical-licensing boards to apply to their respective health-care professionals.”

The medical community opined that rather than going through normal legislative committees where all sides can offer testimony, the provision was slipped into a bigger bill with little discussion.  “A lot of this stuff was not done in the light of day. “What is it the chiropractors have to hide if they don’t want to make their case through the traditional legislative process?"  The same question could be asked of the medical community in Texas.