Giants trainer intent on identifying concussions

New York Post—November 25, 2012

The Giants also are the Super Bowl champions of player safety.

“I’d like to think that we’ve always had here at the Giants a high level of suspicion for concussion,” trainer and VP for medical services Ronnie Barnes told The Post, “and that we were conservative.

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"At the Giants we do baseline MRI and DTI — Diffusion Tensor Imaging — which looks at the brain on a molecular level,” Barnes said. “We’re doing that not only to follow what’s really happening to our players over a long period of time, but also to compare it if they get a concussion. So all the rookies go to Hospital for Special Surgery and they get this baseline, and then, when they are concussed, this is repeated.

“Our players also see an independent neurologist, and we depend on Dr. Teena Shetty at Hospital for Special Surgery, on her opinion, with respect to concussion. So, not only does a player have to return to baseline, but Dr. Shetty, who evaluates them the next day after the concussion, has to really approve their return. And if she says no, it means no.

“The neuropsychological baseline is interpreted by a neuropsychologist. And that neuropsychologist looks at the results of this computer-driven test, and he calls me and says, ‘This player has not returned to baseline.’ He also calls the independent neurologist and says, ‘This player has not returned to baseline.’ Which means he can’t return.”

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“I thought it was important, so we wouldn’t miss anything, the athletic trainers are spread out over the field, the doctors are spread out on the field, and so we’re now communicating through earpieces and radios,” Barnes said.

Barnes calls a medical timeout when a possible concussion has occurred.

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Also, anytime I run onto the field to see a player, I have Dr. Brian Kelly or Dr. Scott Rodeo go to the video replay, which is behind our bench, in the middle of the bench, puts on the headset, talks to a replay person, and tells them, ‘Our player was just injured, could we see that play?’ It helps us to see the mechanism of injury. That can often tell us the severity of what it might be.”

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Read the full article at nypost.com.

 

 

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