The National Football League (NFL) has tapped two top brain specialists from Barrow Neurological Institute to provide concussion expertise on the sidelines during Sunday’s Super Bowl. The appointment is part of an NFL guideline that places independent medical specialists on the sidelines at all NFL games to better address concussion.
Two of the nation’s top brain injury experts from Barrow – Javier Cárdenas, MD; and Taro Kaibara, MD; – will be present on the Super Bowl sidelines to provide concussion and other neurological specialty support to the physicians of the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. The Barrow physicians were selected for the NFL’s Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant program based on Barrow’s renowned neurological treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries including concussion. The Barrow doctors also provide these services at all home NFL and Arizona State University football games.
“We’re very pleased to be part of this year’s Super Bowl and to help make a difference in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion among the athletes,” says Javier Cárdenas, neurologist and medical director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. “By having more medical experts on the field, players will more quickly and effectively receive concussion evaluation and treatment.”
The brain injury experts from Barrow examine players immediately after they return to the sidelines if they show concussion symptoms. If it’s determined a player has suffered a concussion, the Barrow physicians will discuss appropriate treatment. The move is part of the NFL’s vigilance in limiting the number of head injuries and addressing them earlier during games.
“It’s important to quickly recognize and treat football players who have suffered a concussion so that they don’t immediately return to the game and put themselves at risk for a more serious brain injury,” says Taro Kaibara, Barrow neurosurgeon. “Concussion needs to be taken seriously and we’re happy the NFL has initiated these guidelines to help protect their athletes against brain injury.”