EXPERT ADVISORY: Matthew Kirschen, M.D., PhD, from the Divisions of Critical Care and Neurology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, available to speak about the new American Academy of Neurology position paper on doctors' ethical obligations to educate athletes about concussion injury and protect athletes from further brain injury.

Jul 09, 2014, 16:05 ET from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new position paper from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) states that doctors have an ethical obligation to educate athletes and their parents about sports-related concussions and to protect the mental and physical health of their athlete-patients, especially with regard to return-to-play decisions.

Matthew Kirschen, M.D., PhD, a fellow in critical care medicine and an attending in neurology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was the lead author on the statement, "Legal and ethical implications in the evaluation and management of sports-related concussions". This statement published today in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the AAN, and is being released in advance of The Sports Concussion Conference, being held July 11-13, 2014 in Chicago.  

"Physicians have an ethical duty to provide information to patients and parents of student athletes on concussion risks, prevention, symptoms and the possibility of neurological impairments," said Dr. Kirschen. "It is the clinician's primary responsibility to protect the current and future health and well-being of our student athletes."

The statement concludes that ethically, clinicians caring for athletes during and after a sports-related concussion should have adequate training and experience in the recognition and evaluation of both the existence and severity of potential brain injury.

More than 4 million sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year. "It is imperative that clinicians are educated and protect these athletes who may have sustained a concussion," Kirschen added.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a national leader in the field of pediatric concussion, is committed to improving awareness, diagnosis and treatment of youth concussion, through clinical practice, educational outreach and research, and participating in the national dialogue on pediatric concussion research. Through rigorous outreach, CHOP's experts are raising awareness of the problem of youth concussion – by sharing resources, conducting research, and serving on national panels and committees that are shaping the national discussion of the future of pediatric concussion guidelines and research. CHOP is developing a comprehensive pediatric and adolescent concussion registry, which will provide a database of information about concussion cases to inform scientific research to improve care.

For more information about concussion care at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, please visit:

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program receives the highest amount of National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. children's hospitals. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia