PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Doctors, coaches, administrators, and a former pro quarterback tackled the issue of concussions in sports at Deering High School on Monday night.
The panel held an open forum with the parents of student athletes to share their knowledge and discuss their experiences regarding brain injuries.
When it comes to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for concussions, the biggest improvements according to Dr. William Heinz, a co-founder of the Maine Concussion Management Initiative, is due to increased awareness.
"Parents are coming out and asking the right questions and getting involved and participating and looking out for their kids and looking out for other kids on the team," Heinz said.
Representing the athlete's perspective was 2001 Portland alum and former NFL & CFL quarterback Quinton Porter. While he still advocates all the positive thats can be derived from playing football like leadership, focus, and discipline, he also hopes the kids he teaches today don't repeat the same mistakes he made by not addressing potential head injuries.
"As an adult, I look back and I say for one, why didn't the adults in my life pick this out and also, why didn't I pull myself out sometimes," Porter said.
Among the dozens of parents in attendance were Nicole Hoglund. Her son, who attends Cheverus High School, suffered a concussion playing soccer three weeks ago is still dealing with the effects of that injury.
"It's been frustrating. It's hard to treat something when they can't really describe. It's not a cut that you can go to the emergency room and get six stitches. It's a lot of him saying I don't feel like myself," Hoglund said.
For other links regarding concussion related topics, click on the respective links below:
Concussion baseline testing - http://www.bwellhealth.com/services/what-is-a-concussion/concussion-screening/
Football training that focuses on form and technique - http://firstdowntraining.com/
Dr. William Heinz's Bio - http://www.orthoassociates.com/orthopedic_specialists/heinz.php