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Don’t Get Hurt: Modern Healthcare

Aron Bishop, Staff Writer

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The next time you fall playing soccer or volleyball, or get hit with the ball while playing basketball or baseball, it may cost more to ‘heal’. Overall, the cost of healthcare in the United States has steadily increased at astronomical rates with no current end in sight. Let’s face it, our healthcare system needs to be fixed now and the high cost of healthcare affects all of us. Consider these facts and statistics from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC):
“High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.”
“More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.”
“Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age.”
“Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.”
“Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.”
“More than 775,000 children, ages 14 and younger, are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. Most of the injuries occurred as a result of falls, being struck by an object, collisions, and overexertion during unorganized or informal sports activities.”

Imagine, these are just the statistics for non-contact sports. Injury statistics increase dramatically for sports like football, skateboarding, and ice hockey.

When I played basketball in middle school, I went to grab the ball from an opponent after a missed shot – defensive rebound. I grabbed the ball in an awkward way and hurt my thumb. I kept playing and because I didn’t feel any pain. When my grandmother came to pick me up from practice, she noticed my hand was swollen, discolored, and misaligned. We were able to schedule an emergency appointment with our pediatrician who then sent us to the hospital for x-rays. By now, my mother has left worked and met Grandma and I at the hospital. (Note to self – try not to go to the hospital with Grandma, she stresses way too much!) As we all sat and waited for the specialist to review and interpret the x-rays, my mother just kept shaking her head. After what seemed like hours, the doctor appeared and showed us on the x-ray that my hand was fractured in 4 places. (I still have the x-ray negatives to this day). I had to have my hand cast, attend physical therapy and repeat doctor’s appointments for several months.

Okay, so what? I healed and all is well. Not exactly. My mom’s wallet continues to hemorrhage. She received doctor’s bills from the pediatrician, the hospital, the x-ray lab and technician, and the hand specialist. The other day, a letter arrived with my name on it and I opened. It was from the hand specialist stating that I (my mom) still owed another $300 because the insurance company didn’t cover the costs. While my family will be able to cover the cost, there are many families that can’t. Health costs being what they are makes it that much important that, when you play sports, you be careful and don’t get hurt!

References:
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_196.pdf
http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/STOP/Resources/Statistics/STOP/Resources/Statistics.aspx?hkey=24daffdf-5313-4970-a47d-ed621dfc7b9b
http://www.ajc.com/rf/image_lowres/Pub/p4/AJC/2013/07/25/Images/photos.medleyphoto.3672109.jp

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Don’t Get Hurt: Modern Healthcare