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Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Football player suffers concussion, school adheres to policy

As Hinsdale Central continues with its fall season of sports, students have been witnessing the negative impact of concussions and other head related injuries on fellow teammates. Some students, however, such as Alec Edstrom, junior, have taken the meaning of concussion to a whole new level.

A normal after school practice turned into near nightmare when Edstrom decided to try a different tackling method. “Well, it was during the middle of practice and I put my head down, which you are never supposed to do,” Edstrom said. “Well, after that I don’t really remember but people told me I just sort of fell down.”

Edstrom, however, does remember the entire football team encircling him, asking him if he was okay. “I couldn’t really feel much in my body, anywhere at all,” Edstrom said. “Then the ambulance came, which was pretty scary.”

According to Athletic Director Dan Jones, Central is always prepared to deal with head injuries such as concussions. “We implement a return-to-play policy,” Jones said. [The policy] requires that every high school have a protocol in dealing with preventing and limiting sports injuries.”

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However, the injury Edstrom had was much more severe than the average concussion. “I was in a lot of pain and was kind of scared I wouldn’t play football again. But eventually I regained most of the feeling in my body,” Edstrom said. The junior was later diagnosed with a type of head injury the doctors called a spinal cord concussion.

A spinal cord injury occurs when the head hits or is hit by an object, and the brain is jarred against the skull. This creates enough force to cause temporary loss of function in the center of the brain, which accounts for Edstrom’s loss of feeling in his body.

According to Jones, each athlete takes a physical test before the sports season called an impact test that serves as a baseline score for concussion-free students. “If a student acquires a head or neck injury, we wait until the student is system free, and we make them retake the impact test,” Jones said. “If their score matches their baseline test, they are free to continue school sports if the trainer approves them.”

Fortunately, Edstrom is recovering swiftly. “Now I just have to wear this neck brace every day,” Edstrom said. “Almost all the feeling in my body has completely returned.”

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