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Dykstra's Care Under Scrutiny

November 19, 2002|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

The attorney representing the family of Rollie Dykstra said Monday that the injured University of La Verne quarterback was deprived of adequate emergency care after collapsing during a game, and had experienced pregame symptoms indicating previous head trauma.

Dykstra suffered a severe head injury during the second quarter of a game against Redlands on Oct. 19.

Martin Cervantes, an Ontario-based attorney, said the La Verne trainer, team doctor and two private emergency medical technicians who first treated Dykstra struggled to keep him breathing after his jaw locked during a seizure. Cervantes said they lacked equipment to open the jaw and that paramedics summoned had to break at least two of Dykstra's teeth to establish an airway.

Cervantes also said he has interviewed a La Verne player who reported Dykstra vomited and was sweating profusely less than 90 minutes before the game.

Dykstra's father, Roland Dykstra Sr., and girlfriend, Jennifer Ross, have said the 24-year-old senior complained of severe headaches for two weeks before the game, possibly the result of a previous concussion.

The Dykstra family has not filed a negligence claim against La Verne, but Cervantes said, "We certainly have enough to proceed, the basis is there."

Cervantes reviewed a video tape of the episode during the weekend and described the second-quarter tackle that felled Dykstra as "garden variety."

A university representative and the attorney for the school declined to comment.

Dykstra emerged from a coma last week, but he remains in serious condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute.

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