Bill aims to establish protocol for injured student athletes - - Columbia, South Carolina

Bill aims to establish protocol for injured student athletes


State legislators are looking into creating a protocol to help identify and treat student athletes who are injured during school-sanctioned events.

State Sen. Gerald Malloy is one of the lawmakers leading this charge.

"If a coach suspects a player has a concussion, that coach shall remove that player and after that fact, a doctor or medical staff person would be responsible for entering back into the sport," explained Malloy.

The bill would also limit liability for athletic trainers and medical staff who would be charged with making that game-time decision about whether an athlete should stay in the game or get help.

However, that's not going to be easy for every state school, says Ridge View High School Athletics Trainer Sean Hoppe.

"Unfortunately, not every high school in South Carolina has a certified athletics trainer," said Hoppe. "We're getting better."

So far this year, athletic trainers at Ridge View have seen roughly 20 concussions. Across the nation, that number is closer to half a million.

"We follow them each and every day," said Hoppe. "Not just on the field, but in the classroom. A note is sent to each teacher, a letter is sent to the parents by the CDC.

That's exactly the protocol legislators hope to establish in every school in the state.

"What we're doing is putting in the safeguards as best we can for our student athletes and I think it's the best thing for our state," said Malloy.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.

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