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Professionals discuss student athlete concussions head-on

Marberry, a returning sports medicine physician at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville said the symptoms aren't always obvious. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

In schools across the country, students are joining athletics, but with growing concern of concussions, professionals say families should way whether the risks out way the rewards.

"It’s scary. You go from thinking clearly and being engaged in what's happening to you to not remembering what day it is," said Kirksville High School soccer coach Shawn Meintz."

Meintz said he sees about two players every season suffer concussions. These injuries can have lasting impacts especially to developing minds.

"I have had players out of school for a few days after a concussion," Meintz said.

One player in particular stands out.

"It was, it was kind of a scary situation," Meintz said.

Meintz recounted a story of one of his players getting hit out of bounds. He said she was dazed and confused.

"Kind of laughing at things that weren't funny," Meintz said.

"We classify concussions that can range from something very minor that resolves in a few hours to something major that might have life-long impact," said sports medicine physician Dr. Kevin Marberry.

Marberry, a returning sports medicine physician at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, said the symptoms aren't always obvious.

"There are some cases where the concussion changes the personality of the person, the student athlete, and some of those things can be permanent," Marberry said.

For the athlete who wants to get back in the game, Marberry stressed the severity of the injury.

“It’s not your foot, your ankle, your knee. This is your brain," Marberry said.

After ten years coaching, and numerous concussions witnessed Meintz offered this piece of advice.

"The benefits of team activity, the benefits of getting involved and the benefits of the health and experience far out way the chance of getting a concussion," Meintz said.

One Marberry agrees with.

"In general sports promotes physical activity, which we know has a positive impact on a person's life even on the short-term and in the long-term as well," Marberry said.

For more on Dr. Marberry, contact 660-626-2663.

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