Thursday, March 10, 2016

Concussion bill gets all-clear from House

A bill that would clarify under what circumstances a high school athlete suspected of having a concussion may return to play has cleared the House.

House Bill 217, sponsored by Rep. Mike Denham, D-Maysville, was amended and passed by the House by a vote of 96-0 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Should HB 217 become law, high school coaches would not be able to play student athletes who are diagnosed with a concussion, said Denham. Any athlete suspected of having a concussion would be prohibited from returning to play if no physician or other licensed medical provider is present at the practice or competition to evaluate them.

Athletes who aren’t evaluated would not be able to play in any future practice or game unless they have written clearance from a physician, Denham said.

Current law prohibits student athletes suspected of having a concussion from returning to play on the day of the suspected injury until they are medically evaluated. Athletes found to have a concussion cannot return to practice or play on the same day as the injury, nor are they allowed to participate in future practices or games without medical clearance. Athletes are allowed to return to play no concussion is determined.

Denham said the bill has the support of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.