Miami Dolphins, UM Develop Program To Review Concussions In Highschool Athletes

The Miami Dolphins play their first pre-season recreation Thursday evening at Arduous Rock Stadium. However one participant who received’t be dodging Atlanta Falcons defenders is working again Jay Ajayi, who remains to be being handled for a concussion suffered final week at coaching camp throughout a full-contact scrimmage.

As soccer gamers at each degree gear up for the gridiron and the beginning of the season, concussions—and concussion prevention—has turn into a serious concern and part of the brand new soccer tradition.

Other than its personal concussion protocol (Ajayi has not practiced for a full week), the Dolphins have proactively initiated a first-of-its type program for native highschool college students. Partnering with the College of Miami Well being System, or UHealth, the Dolphins group is paying for 15,000 Miami-Dade scholar athletes to endure baseline concussion testing.


UHealth will collect the information on every scholar, when they’re regular—not after a head harm. Then, sooner or later, if there’s a large head-to-head collision or a participant slams his head on the turf, UHealth will retest that scholar in order that docs can see the place the child is now, and the place the child was, to then higher deal with her or him.

“This can be a recreation that we love. It is a recreation that I performed rising up and had so much to do with who I am as we speak,” mentioned Tom Garfinkel, president and CEO of the Dolphins. “And if we’re going to advertise that recreation, we want to ensure it is as protected as it may be.”

The main focus of the fast-growing consciousness of concussions throughout the nation is centered on CTE, continual traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative mind illness related to head accidents, particularly repetitive head accidents. The consequences typically don’t present up for years, then all of a sudden somebody of their 50s or 60s suffers continual dizziness, listening to issues like ringing within the ears, cognitive deficits, complications and sleep disturbances.


Boston College lately launched its personal research of donated brains of former athletes. The numbers had been beautiful. Of 111 brains of former NFL gamers, 110 confirmed indicators of CTE.

UHealth researchers are growing testing of their very own for as we speak’s athletes. They developed snug-fitting specialty goggles the place the individual sees a white dot bouncing across the display.

This enables researchers to charge the athlete’s eye actions and eye responses, which screens how the mind and stability methods are working and is designed to detect any indicators of a concussion. 

The hope is that the price of the goggles can get low sufficient so that each staff, faculty and highschool can afford one, maintain it on the sphere and when there’s a potential head harm, pull that participant over, placed on the goggles and decide inside 5 minutes whether or not that individual has a concussion.


“There are sports activities that trigger head accidents, but it surely’s not simply soccer,” mentioned Dr. Michael Hoffer, an otolaryngology professor at College of Miami’s Miller Faculty of Medication who a part of the faculty’s concussion program. “Final yr the CC will present you that feminine athletes had as a lot, had as many head accidents as male athletes and also you’re not going to cease all sports activities. You don’t need to cease soccer, you don’t need to cease volleyball, you don’t need to cease soccer. What you need to do is have packages to make them safer.”

On soccer fields across the nation, all of this concussion prevention consciousness has led to sweeping adjustments. Coach Patrick Surtain of defending state champions American Heritage Excessive Faculty in South Florida confirmed Fox Information how his gamers solely deal with to the bottom now about 10 % of the time.  The brand new technique is named “thudding it up” – gamers interact, make contact, keep on their ft after which cease the play after just a few seconds.

“My complete mannequin is ‘get up and apply,’ discover ways to apply,” mentioned Surtain, a former Miami Dolphin participant. “We don’t take anyone to the bottom as a result of I do know a whole lot of concussions are precipitated with helmet-to-helmet contact, but it surely’s additionally precipitated with the pinnacle hitting the turf.”

Travis Johnson, head coach of Miami Edison Excessive Faculty, echoes that strategy.

“No query, it’s a violent sport,” he mentioned. “You’re asking the children to go actually exhausting and full velocity, so there’s some danger concerned. However I feel in the event you’re managing the main points and educating them the appropriate method to play the sport and play the game, then we are able to get rid of a few of these violent conditions that occur on the sphere.”

CTE researchers say there may be nonetheless extra that must be studied in regards to the causal relationship between sports activities, concussions and CTE. However, they are saying, as we speak’s recreation is much totally different than years lengthy gone.

The angle of “get again within the recreation and hard it out” has been changed with the brand new mantra: “When unsure, sit it out.”

Phil Keating joined Fox Information Channel (FNC) in March 2004 and presently serves as FNC’s Miami-based correspondent.