Concussions among female athletes becoming issue

August 2, 2012 4:55:10 PM PDT
Concussions can be hard to diagnose. And they may not seem like a big deal to student athletes who wants to continue play. But, this year, parents will have to sign concussion acknowledgement forms before their children can play in UIL sports.

Sara Eguren plays college soccer, but the game has cost her two concussions.

"I played the whole game. I did quite a few headers, my coach tells me, and the next day, I was completely dizzy and out of it," Eguren said.

After another concussion, she lost her hearing.

"When my hearing didn't come back, my mom decided to take me to the emergency room, where we got a few CAT scans done," she said.

Concussions among female athletes are becoming a serious problem.

"We've been finding in sports where both boys and girls play them, such as basketball and soccer, that more girls are having concussions, as well as having longer recovery rates," said Dr. Summer Ott, director of the Ironman Institute Concussion Program.

Researchers theorize girls may be more likely to admit they've had a concussion and they have poorer neck strength.

"Me and a girl collided and I remember falling and hitting the back of my head on the ground, and I just blacked out for a couple of seconds," said Gabriella Walters, who had a concussion in March.

No one realized it and she kept playing.

"A couple of weeks later I started to experience headaches when I was exercising, so I finally took the impact test and I realized something was wrong," Walters said.

They compared her post concussion test with the one she'd taken before the season, and her scores showed a significant decline in her memory.

"I was surprised actually. I didn't think it was that bad until I actually compared the test scores," Walters said.

Dr. Ott benched her for two months. Now Walters has recovered and she's been cleared to return to play.


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