In light of last week’s report on the late Ryan Freel, I decided to outline some of the measures Major League Baseball is taking to address concussions in the sport.
MLB has taken a very serious, very focused stance on preventing concussions in baseball. MLB has taken numerous measures to investigate, diagnose, treat and hopefully prevent minor traumatic brain injuries/concussions.
Some of their many efforts over the past several years include:
1) a focused MLB Concussion Study Group including physicians, trainers, epidemiologists, and statisticians,
2) an Epidemiological Study on Concussions in MLB identifying the high risk player positions and plays,
3) equipment modifications for catchers and pitchers who are by far at the highest risk,
4) rule modifications for the highest risk situation, collisions at the plate, in which the catcher must share a portion of the plate to an opposing player while the opposing player cannot contact the catcher above the chest,
5) the institution of the 7 Day Disabled list for concussions in order to protect any player that may have incurred such an injury,
6) the implementation of mandatory baseline neurocognitive testing on all players at Spring Training so that baseline data is available on every player if an injury occurs,
7) the standardization of neurocognitive tests (IMPACT and SCAT) to be used by all MLB Clubs.
These are some of the many focused efforts that MLB and the MLB Team Physicians Association have taken to protect its players. These efforts will most certainly continue in an attempt to ultimately remove this injury risk.
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