BIRMINGHAM Ala. (WIAT) — Concussion concerns rise after Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a second alarming injury in just five days. Many are wondering why the former UA all-star even saw the field Thursday evening. Now UAB Medical experts are weighing in on the Dolphins’ decision-making.
UAB sports medicine physicians say with little data available on Tagovailoa’s injuries, it’s hard to give a definite response. But in any case of serious injury, they say, ‘when in doubt, sit it out.’
If Tagovailoa did suffer from an initial concussion, Dr. Sara Gould says second impact syndrome would be a major concern, as the effects can be catastrophic.
“So, I think that’s what everyone’s concerned about in the Tua situation because there was an initial injury and there’s concern that maybe he was still recovering from that when he was hit again,” Gould said. “And so, we want to watch out for that. We want to be very cautious so that we don’t have our kids suffering from second impact syndrome.”
Dr. Irfan Asif says there is an international concussion criteria sports organizations must follow. In Tua Tagovailoa’s case, they are unsure if proper recovery protocol was followed.
“If somebody had a concussion, should they come back to play that quickly? You know, that would be tough to come back that quickly, but as Dr. Gould said, we’d have to know, whether or not there were and how he performed on those tests,” Asif said.
Hoover High School head football coach Wade Waldrop says no coach would ever want to live with the burden of an athlete leaving with permanent damage. Safety should always be number one.
“For all of us, we want to win now and be successful and have great programs and treat our kids right, but ultimately when they get out of here we want them to be able to have every dream, live up to every dream and aspiration they have to be successful people and healthy people,” Waldrop said.
UAB physicians say they hope to see more positive changes in concussion protocol moving forward.