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Recognizing head injuries: An app designed by a CNY company may help

Recognizing head injuries: An app designed by a CNY company may help

As awareness of consequences of head injuries, including concussions, has spread, figuring out how to recognize these injuries when they occur has become a higher priority.

In the NFL, where concussions and the role they can play in causing chronic brain damage known as CTE has become a hot-button issue, a protocol has been developed in recent years to evaluate players who have hard impacts to the head by a doctor before returning to play.

SEE ALSO | Parents and Pop-Warner program say they know the risk of head injuries in football

However at lower levels of play, including in schools, this sort of protocol may not be feasible. The perceived risks posed by head injuries do not disappear at these levels of play (a recent study found playing tackle football before age 12 could be linked to earlier symptoms of CTE).

A local company may have the solution: an app. Total Concussion Management, based out of Jordan, N.Y., has developed an app called "easySCAT" which aims to help users identify if a head injury may have occurred.

According to the company, the app allows for rapid screening of significant head impacts and can recommend a full evaluation by a physician. According to testimonials on the company's website, some schools are already making use of the tool.

"In one recent case, a player complained that he didn’t feel well at practice stating that he had received a hard hit the day before. We ran an easySCAT Sideline assessment that indicated RED and recommended immediate Doctor evaluation," Dustin Allen, Athletic Director at Bolivar Richburg CSD in Western New York, said in a testimonial. "His parents didn’t believe it and were irritated that they had to take him out of play until a physician cleared him. The Doctor confirmed that he indeed had sustained a concussion and put the player on a recovery program.

"The father of the player apologized and thanked us for identifying the issue, forcing the medical intervention. That evaluation might have saved the student from further and permanent brain damage."

Thursday on the NBC3 News at 11 Sports Director Niko Tamurian takes a closer look at how the app works and how it's being utilized on the sidelines.

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