Clinic teaches coaches about concussions and knee injuries

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Updated: 2/16/2013 5:32 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- Serious injuries can end a young athlete's career before it really begins. So the state of Nevada now requires youth sports leaders to have training on concussions.

"Everything went really blurry and it felt like I wanted to throw up," said Caitlyn Silva. 

Sylva is a sophomore at Spanish Springs High School who's had a concussion while playing soccer. 

"I'm a goal keeper. I went out to get the ball and I got kneed in the face," Silva said. "I was the only goal keeper, so I had to stay in [the game] for my team."

A workshop for Great Basin Youth Soccer League coaches is teaching them to get players out of the game if there's a chance they have a concussion like Silva did. 

"So that we won't end up with one of our precious youth end up having something tragic happen," said former Superbowl champ Dr. Stefan Humphries. 

Humpries is now the medical director for Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. He says the NFL is leading the way in raising awareness about the severity of concussions. 

"They are truly a traumatic brain injury," Humphries said. 

"Concussions are very serious," said Rich Reid, Renown rehabilitation therapies director.
Reid says soccer head injuries can be more serious than boxing or football.

To put things in perspective, a boxer's punch will hit you in the head at about 25 miles per hour, a football tackle on a dummy is about 40, but a soccerball can hit you in the head at about 70 miles per hour. 

"If a player is knocked unconscious obviously call 911, but you're looking for dazed and confused and you're looking for nausea," said Danielle Litoff, Renown orthopaedic clinical specialist.

Litoff says concussions aren't the only threat on the soccer field - they're also teaching the kids to avoid ACL injuries.

"It can end a player's career in high school," Litoff said.  

"That's my biggest fear is to tear my ACL," Silva said.

So Silva is taking what she's learning seriously and Litoff says that can make a huge difference.

"This program has been proven to decrease injury by up to 80 percent in females," Litoff said.

Avoiding those injuries can have a big impact on their futures. 

"This is like the prime of our soccer career and this is when you get colleges to look at you and get scholarships and everything," Silva said. 

For more information on concussion warning signs and treatment, click here.
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