DearColleague.us

Letter

Bill Pascrell

From the office of:

Bill Pascrell

From: The Honorable Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Sent By: alyssa.penna@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3113
Date: 6/30/2014

Dear Colleague:

As the co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, we ask you to join us in cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to give schools and community organizations the tools they need to adequately protect student-athletes from mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), including concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year, U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports- and recreation-related mTBIs, including concussions, among children and adolescents, from birth to 19 years.  Many of these mTBIs are suffered by middle and high school student athletes whose schools do not have the resources to adequately diagnose and treat these injuries.  As a result, studies have shown that as many as 41 percent of high school athletes return to the field before their brain has an opportunity to heal from a previous concussion.

The consequences of returning to activity too soon cannot be overstated.  A repeat concussion — one that occurs before the brain recovers from a previous concussion — cannot only delay recovery, it also increases the likelihood of a future concussion and other long-term health problems.  Repeat concussions can result in second impact syndrome, which can be marked by brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and even death.

In February 2011, in order to address this serious problem, the CDC convened the Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Expert Panel to establish national protocols to be established for managing sports-related concussions for student athletes from the 5th grade to the 12th grade.

H.R. 3113, the Concussion Treatment and Care Tools Act (ConTACT Act) of 2013 would require the Pediatric MTBI Guideline Expert Panel to issue its final clinical guidelines, as well as guidelines for school-aged student athletes returning to play after a concussion, by March 2015. The bill would then require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish grant guidelines for states to implement best practices in concussion diagnosis, treatment, and management based on the Panel’s guidelines.

Please join us in protecting our student athletes from concussions by arming schools with the resources they need to curb this serious problem. If you are interested in becoming a cosponsor, please contact Alyssa Penna in Congressman Pascrell’s office atAlyssa.Penna@mail.house.gov or Jessica Moore in Congressman Rooney’s office at Jessica.Moore@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Bill Pascrell, Jr.                    Tom Rooney

Member of Congress            Member of Congress