Posted: Feb 1, 2013 7:05 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
Updated: Feb 1, 2013 7:06 PM
Emergency rooms across the country treat an average of 170,000 traumatic brain injuries every year resulting from sports injuries, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
After hearing these statistics, MT State Senator Anders Blewett (D-Great Falls) began working on a bill to protect high school athletes from concussions.
The proposed legislation is Senate Bill 112, the Dylan Steigers Protection of Youth Athletes Act.
The bill would create a concussion education program to raise awareness about the risks of brain injury.
Blewett, a former college football player, is carrying the legislation because he believes athletes, coaches, schools, and medical professionals need to take concussions more seriously.
"We know for a fact that these traumatic brain injuries, when they happen in rapid succession, can cause permanent, long term brain injuries that will affect them the rest of their lives," Blewett said.
The bill would also require high schools to pull a player out of a game if the player exhibits signs of a concussion, and be cleared by a healthcare provider and no longer exhibit symptoms of concussion before returning to the field.
Dylan's mother Cyndi testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday, saying that the proposed bill is also a way to remember her son.
Cyndi said, "Our lives were forever shattered on May 8th, 2010, when Dylan, who was playing the safety position, stumbled off the field toward the end of the game. He and I were flown to Boise as his dad was driven by car. He was removed from life support the next day and died."
She added, "If we can keep one child and one family from suffering the tragedy that we have suffered, the value of passing this bill would be immeasurable."
Cyndi said of her son, "He had a reputation for being as tough as nails. He gave as good as he got and he would do anything for his teammates and coaches."
The education and medical communities all say this bill is a much needed policy statement to tell athletes that their brains are just as valuable as their arms and legs.
The Senate Judiciary committee is expected to vote on the bill in the coming weeks.
The bill provides the following definition for "Concussion"
"Concussion" means an injury to the brain arising from blunt trauma, an acceleration force, or a deceleration force, which may include one of the following observed or self-reported conditions attributable to the injury:
(a) transient confusion, disorientation, or impaired consciousness;
(b) dysfunction of memory;
(c) loss of consciousness; or
(d) signs of other neurological or neuropsychological dysfunction, including:
(i) increased irritability;
(vii) decreased balance; and
Click here to read the full text of the bill.
(May 10, 2010) A former Missoula Sentinel football standout died Sunday from injuries received while playing in a spring football game.
Dylan Steigers, a graduate of Sentinel High School, was playing for Eastern Oregon University.
According to the school's Vice President of Public Affairs, Steigers suffered a head injury during a team scrimmage Saturday in LaGrande, Oregon.
Upon suspicion he suffered a concussion, the school called 911 and he was taken to the local hospital, then flown to another hospital.
Dylan Steigers finished his football career with the Spartans in 2006, but was listed as a freshman wide receiver on Easter Oregon's roster this Spring.