In 2006, 13-year-old Zachery Lystedt, from Maple Valley, WA, suffered a life-threatening brain injury after he returned to play football following a hard hit earlier in the game. This spurred new legislation in Washington state – the strictest in the nation – regarding return-to-play law for concussion in 18-and-under school sanctioned sports. Listen and learn why a leading UW Medicine sports injury specialist, who is also a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners, and a brain injury advocate feel this law is so critical and will save lives.
Stanley A. Herring, Medical Director of the Spine Center at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center and Richard Adler, President of the Brain Injury Association of Washington (BIAWA), both speak to not only the medical aspect of this law but also the shift in culture that needs to happen. There is often an attribution of bravery associated with being tough and returning to a game. Coaches need to set a tone that encourages a competitive culture but emphasizes safety above all else. Dr. Herring details some of the signs and symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Again, however, he stresses the symptoms are not always the same, and it is absolutely critical for an athlete to be cleared by a medical professional before returning to play.
Dr. Herring defines a concussion and elaborates as to what is occurring in the brain of an individual who has suffered one. As for Zach’s response to the law, Mr. Adlers said, “He [Zach] said it best when he was testifying in front of the house and senate, he would say, ‘Thank you so much.’ And he would be talking in a very strange voice, something that we may have to strain our ears to hear, he would talk in a very slow rhythm, somewhat monotone, and he thanked the senators and representatives in the house for passing this law because it means that no child will have to go through what he has had to go through and his family has had to go through.”
President, Brain Injury Association of Washington (BIAWA)Richard H. Adler is an honors graduate of Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1980. He was called to the Bar in Washington State that same year. Mr. Adler is the founding principal for the law offices of AdlerGiersch PS, which is exclusively dedicated to representing victims of traumatic brain, spinal,... more >
Stanley A. Herring, M.D.
Medical Director, Spine Center, Harborview Medical CenterDr. Stanley Herring is Medical Director of the Spine Center at Harborview Medical Center and Clinical Professor at the University of Washington. Dr. Herring specializes in musculoskeletal and sports medicine, with a particular interest in spinal disorders. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and went on to complete his residency at... more >