Thursday, September 2, 2010

Azarenka's collapse leaves unanswered questions

"What have been initially diagnosed as the mildest of concussions have sometimes turned into multi-year ordeals of headaches, light sensitivity, depression, and inability to focus, so let's hope for the best, as should certainly the medical team that cleared Azarenka to play.

It was those doctors who had the holes in their heads, not the USTA for refusing to leave a hole in its schedule, insisting on playing in temperatures that on Arthur Ashe court yesterday, reached 111 degrees at 3:05 p.m."

These are the words of Jay Greenberg. He is referring to what is called post-concussion syndrome, which--if it occurs at all--usually lasts no longer than three months, though there are cases that linger beyond that time period. The existence of post-concussion syndrome does not correlate to the severity of one's injury; a mild concussion can lead to continued symptoms.

Victoria Azarenka, who fell and hit her head prior to playing her second-round match at the U.S. Open yesterday, was examined by doctors and was supposedly being monitored while she was on court. She exhibited obvious symptoms of concussion, and--while she may have been cleared to play because she seemed just fine at the time--there is a question about why the onset of obvious symptoms did not result in early medical intervention.


svente said...

It's horrendous this happened and I truly hope Azarenka has a complete, swift recovery but I am glad it's getting this attention. It happens far too often in sports with players seemingly being the least of anyone's concerns.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. She was obviously disoriented and looked confused early in the match. She should have been pulled long before the collapse.

Todd Spiker said...

From what I heard, apparently Azarenka didn't tell the medical personnel who looked at her after her fall that she'd hit her head, saying only that she'd injured her arm and ribs.

Of course, this was reported today on ESPN2... so take the validity of that info how you will. :)

If it IS true, then Azarenka really needs to take better care of herself. There is a pattern with this sort of thing with her, from the food poisioning to playing while she's injured and (maybe) to this. If she'd been diagnosed with a concussion before the match, she'd probably had to get a walkover. If she was trying to avoid that, she made a bad short-term (and maybe long tern, since you never know) decision.

Diane said...

My question is: If medical officials didn't know she'd hit her head, why would they be monitoring her?

Todd Spiker said...

Good question. I guess she could have said she wasn't feeling well, and with the heat the way it was... ?

Either way, not a good situation.