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Ohio chiropractors could make call on concussions

By |June 4, 2013|News|

Source The Plain Dealer

By Brandon Blackwell, The Plain Dealer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Some Ohio physicians are upset over a budget provision that would allow chiropractors to make the calls on putting student athletes with head injuries back in the game.

Senate lawmakers on Thursday are likely to pass a version of the budget, House Bill 59, that gives chiropractors the authority to clear the return of young athletes who are taken off the field for symptoms of a concussion or head injury. The move has upset those who say chiropractors do not have the proper training to handle the responsibility.

“I think that when we’re talking about serious head injuries to children, a physician’s training and scope of expertise is broader and more comprehensive than a chiropractor,” said Tim Maglione, senior director of the Ohio State Medical Association. “Chiropractors have a role in the continuum of care for athletes. We just don’t think it should go as far as assessing head injuries for young children.”

Supporters of the provision, however, say chiropractors receive rigorous training in neurology and are well qualified to make the assessments.

Current law gives doctors of medicine or osteopathic medicine the authority to clear a young athlete for a return to sports. The amendment would extend that authority to chiropractors.

Maglione sent a letter last month to the Senate asking lawmakers to toss the provision.

“The simple fact is that physicians are granted ultimate oversight…because they are best equipped in terms of education and training to act in that role,” Maglione said in the letter. “Those without adequate education and training should not be making return to play decisions independently.

“The training and education of a physician is vastly different and indeed more rigorous than that required for a chiropractor.”

The letter included signatures from officials with the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, Ohio Athletic Trainers Association, Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Osteopathic Association. (more…)