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Kansas House Says Chiropractors Can Evaluate Student Athlete Head Injuries

The Kansas House during a recent debate. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would let chiropractors decide if student athletes can return to a game after a head injury. Republican Representative Barbara Bollier, a retired physician, opposes the bill. She says researchers are learning more about brain injuries and chiropractors may not be the best qualified for the job.

“There’s way more to a diagnosis of a head injury than we ever knew. Why does it matter? Because it can affect your brain permanently,” said Bollier.

Under current rules, chiropractors can diagnose concussions on the field, but only medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy can clear student athletes to return to the game. Republican Representative Dan Hawkins says chiropractors can have sufficient training to evaluate the injuries.

"Really the thing that we have to look at is that the professional doing the treatment also has the proper training for that. I would suggest to you that the chiropractors that don't probably would still want that MD to sign off," says Hawkins.

The House approved the bill on a 73-51 vote. The Kansas Senate will now consider the bill.

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