On September 12, the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center will present the first event in the new ValleyCare Speaker Series: “The Cutting Edge Management of Concussion” with Dr. Paulomi Kadakia Bhalla and Shelby McGinnis, MPT.
Dr. Bhalla, a neurologist, and Ms. McGinnis, a physical therapist, will discuss what has been learned from decades of research into concussions and what is now the current thinking on the best approach to diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management.
Awareness of the potential severity and lasting consequences of concussions has been growing over the past several decades. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries sustained when a blow or blunt force disrupts the brain’s normal function. While people readily associate concussions with obvious trauma such as a major car or bicycle accident, concussions can occur in what appears to be just a simple fall or a minor collision on the playing field.
Many concussions go undiagnosed or are ignored when the individual is able to get up and function, but any injury to the brain can have a long-lasting impact. Sharing knowledge about concussions across the community can make a big difference. The more people who are aware of the signs and symptoms to watch for, the most likely a concussion patient will receive prompt and proper attention.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Ketchersid, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and Hospitalist at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, “Concussions are regularly underappreciated or missed in the senior population, despite the fact that nearly one million seniors suffer a concussion after a fall each year. Their immediate care needs such as broken bones or their other present medical issues may distract from the assessment and treatment of concussions.”
On the playing field, young athletes may not be aware they have suffered a concussion and it is up to the people around them, coaches, parents, and fellow teammates, to know what the signs might be. The long-term consequences of a severe concussion are so significant a new California law mandates assessment and clearance rules for athletes injured during play. Evaluation methods and treatment protocols continue to evolve, and the best approaches are those that encourage cooperation between patients, parents or caretakers, coaches, and healthcare providers.
Dr. Paulomi Kadakia Bhalla was Director of TeleNeurology at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare and Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford University. Shelby McGinnis is a Supervisor at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare’s Physical & Sports Medicine Department. She is a specialist in vestibular (inner ear) disorders and concussion. Together, they bring a broad perspective from both research and practice to their understanding of concussions. Tickets for “The Cutting-Edge Management of Concussion” on September 12 are just $30 for adults. For free student tickets, contact the performing arts box office at 925-373-6800.
The ValleyCare Speaker Series will continue in January when Dr. Marion Buckwalter will discuss “The Aftermath of Stroke: Improving What Goes Right and Preventing What Goes Wrong.” Drawing on her decades of experience as an ICU neurologist at Stanford, caring for stroke patients and serving as a co-investigator on over 50 clinical stroke studies, she will discuss the latest research on neuroinflammation and stroke recovery. In May, Dr. Jake Scott will focus on the alarming increase in the number of antibiotic-resistant organisms causing infection and what doctors, patients, and society can do to stem the rising tide of these superbugs. Co-Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, Dr. Scott will also discuss common misconceptions and issues related to vaccines and infectious diseases.
ValleyCare Charitable Foundation (VCCF) is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to the health and betterment of the Tri-Valley through the ongoing funding of our local Hospital, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, and its innovative medical programs. Forward-thinking and community-driven, VCCF helps ensure that patients and loved ones have world-class medical care and lifesaving services and technology close to home. For more information, visit givevalleycare.org.