The long-term effects of concussions are in the news these days – including a lawsuit over the suicide of former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, who donated his brain to science. Illinois high school athletes already must leave the game when they are suspected of having a concussion, under a policy of the Illinois High School Association, and that policy may become state law.
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State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the bill. “I just think it protects the students, especially those that might not have the health care that other people have. Make sure that these young men and women are healthy when they go back on the playing field,” he said.
Silverstein says he wants to amend the bill to require a doctor to approve athletes before they step back on to the field. The bill passed the Education committee and is now on the floor for a vote by the full Senate.
From 2000 to 2009, more than 170,000 student-athletes in the U.S. went to the emergency room for concussion-related injuries.