GAO evaluates youth concussion databases

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

In a recent report, the Goverment Accountability Office reviewed national efforts to track concussions in youth sports (highlights). The report evaluates local and national laws designed to keep young athletes safe, but the most immediately useful component may be the identification and evaluation of three incomplete national databases now being maintained.

High School Reporting Information Online database

Provides national estimates of occurrence of concussion, it covers only 20 sports for high schools with certified athletic trainers. It may underestimate occurrence because some athletes may be reluctant to report symptoms of a possible concussion to avoid being removed from a game.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System

Provides national estimates only on concussions treated in an emergency room.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research database

Provides information only on cases of concussion with serious complications and cannot provide national estimates of the occurrence of all concussions.

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