Concussions no minor matter with student athletes - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Concussions no minor matter with student athletes

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FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (FOX 26) -

A new study says teen football players view concussions as a "badge of honor," according to 53 percent of their fathers.

But 16-year old Cole Bludworth knows the dangers firsthand. Bludworth suffered a concussion in August while practicing with his team, the Friendswood High School Mustangs.

"I hit a kid head to head," recalled Bludworth. "And that's when I felt dizzy and I couldn't really walk or anything after that."

His mother, a nurse, noticed a marked difference in his behavior even hours later.

"When he got home, he was definitely not Cole," remembered Debi Holliday. "He couldn't answer questions appropriately or quickly enough. It just took him a while to try and formulate what he wanted to say."

Upon the school's recommendation, Holliday took her son to be evaluated by neuropsychologist Summer Ott, with UTHealth. Ott runs the concussion program at Memorial Hermann's Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.

When Cole Bludworth took the test, his results were off the charts. In the wrong direction.

"He performed very poorly in areas of reaction time and speed, much lower than what had been his estimated pre-injury level of functioning," said Ott. "He's an above-average student and he was performing in the impaired range in those areas."

"I wasn't very pleased with that," said Bludworth. "So I knew something was wrong."

Ott diagnosed a concussion and put her teenage patient on a strict regimen: no sports, no schoolwork and no social media.

"I was at home in bed, basically," said Bludworth. "Couldn't text, play video games, nothing."

But with his activities curtailed, Bludworth observed his concussion and its symptoms subside completely after about three weeks. And the teenager was eventually cleared to rejoin his team.

"We can get them back to play safely, if we do it the right way," said Summer Ott.

"It's good to be back," added Bludworth, all suited up for football practice and holding his helmet.

For more information on concussions and a list of the signs and symptoms, visit

http://ironman.memorialhermann.org/content01.aspx?id=209

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