Archive | October, 2011

Kris Dielman Part III

31 Oct

As we have highlighted the Dielman injury was very poorly handled and regardless of how you view it, it put the mans life in danger.  Mike Florio has been all over it (see posts below), as has Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated, and you can add Boomer Esiason to that list.  According to this editorial Boomer did not hold back;

Esiason also took a shot at the Chargers’ medical staff and coaches after offensive lineman Kris Dielman continued to play after suffering a concussion that subsequently caused a seizure on the plane ride home.

“What about his teammates saying something? How about the referees saying something? Yet he played and finished the game out,” Esiason said. “… I’m always talking about concussions, managing them and looking out for them. This was a clear dose of negligence in my eyes on the part of the San Diego Chargers and their medical staff.”

Now Monday Night Football and ESPN has the opportunity to make its feelings known as the Chargers play tonight.  I will not hold my breath.

Most likely I will be taking the kids out to get some candy for dad, so if anyone hears of them discussing the Dielman incident please comment or send it my way…  Thanks!

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Video Worth Dusting Off

31 Oct

Here is a video from Sports Science and ESPN that centers on head-to-head hits…

Playing With Concussion In Soccer: Not A Good Idea

31 Oct

Since you have been following the blog you certainly know that soccer or (futbol or football) is very high on the scale of concussion risk.  This is not only due to collisions but to heading the ball; remember that the unanticipated traumatic events in all sports lead to a disproportionate amount of brain injury.  This occurs often in soccer, a sport without helmets or any head protection for that matter.  You also know that playing with concussion symptoms can lead to further damage and even serious consequences – particularly in adolescents.

Let us take the example of Leeds United’s Darren O’Dea.  On Wednesday, October 26th Leeds played a game in which they won 1-0, however O’Dea complained of dizziness after the match and taking a blow to the head.  The player (O’Dea) then proclaimed himself “fit” for yesterday’s match against Cardiff City.

Early on in Sunday’s match Leeds scored with some help from O’Dea but from there it went wrong for the player and team; Continue reading

Sunday Slants

30 Oct

For your early reading on a Sunday here are a couple of stories; like the slant route quick hitting but you have the opportunity to go further if you wish.

Misleading Headline

Chargers’ Dielman out for two games after concussion, seizure“…  To put a definite number on return to play is WRONG for all brain injuries; although the article hints at a longer out period the headline is poor at best.  And guess what it was published by the NFL.

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Misleading Nomenclature

There was another concussion in NCAA hoop as UConn player Andre Drummond broke his nose and was diagnosed with a concussion, but according to the player it was only “mild”;

“This sucks,” Drummond wrote. “Mild concussion and I broke my nose. Worst day ever.”

There is NO SUCH THING AS A MILD CONCUSSION, period.

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Misleading a Player

Quite possibly one of the worst revelations we have seen in sports an athlete, professional soccer player Taylor Twellman, was intentionally misled into playing; Continue reading

Kris Dielman Incident

29 Oct

Mike Florio has been hot on the concussion subject from the beginning of the season, pointing out potential flaws and “double-standards” that have presented themselves.  As we mentioned in the Week 7 Report, Kris Dielman of the Chargers sustained a blow that showed OVERT signs of a brain injury and he continued to play.  Not only that on the plane flight home he encountered a grand mal seizure, another very serious sign of brain injury.

Apparently the league looks into all injuries, but this one will garner a much different set of eyes; the circumstances surrounding the concussion (diagnosed AFTER the game) will be scrutinized;

Far more troubling than the fact that Dielman suffered a seizure on the flight home from New York after a loss to the Jets is the fact that Dielman exhibited enough signs of wooziness and disorientation to mandate an immediate evaluation.

For those of you who have the game stored on a DVR or access to NFL.com’s Game Rewind service, fast forward to 12:30 of the fourth quarter.  On that play, Dielman pulls from his left guard position toward the right side of the line, dropping his head to block Jets linebacker Calvin Pace.  Dielman then reels away from the block, takes several steps, and lands on the ground.  He stumbles to his feet, and Jim Nantz of CBS points out that Dielman is “a little shaky and wobbly.”

You know the rest of the story from here.  The typical coach speak after the event by Norv Turner not only made me cringe, but Florio also seems to think the same thing; Continue reading

2011 NFL Concussion Report Week 7

28 Oct

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).

As teams get their bye weeks there are obviously fewer players on the field.  One would think that would translate to less concussions occurring; not the case.  Amazingly there have been 11 concussions/head injuries the last three weeks, nearly 43% of all injuries during the regular season.

Instead of looking at it like there is an actual increase in the problem, we should look at the increase of numbers as better and proper reporting of the injury; from both the league and the press.  If you remember the very first update from the preseason I hypothesized that the total number of concussions found would be over 200 (including preseason), due to these factors.

The total number of concussions found through four weeks of preseason and seven weeks of regular season (11 total) is 102.  With 10 weeks of regular season football plus playoffs I think it is trending to the 200 number.  Again I do not feel anyone should be alarmed by this trend, rather feel comfortable with the more accurate numbers.  2011 could easily become the benchmark for comparison going forward.

There was one very scary incident that occurred, Kris Dielman of the San Diego Chargers sustained a concussion in the 4th quarter of the game last week and it was reported by Mike Florio that he may have continued after the injury.  On the team flight home Dielman had a seizure; Continue reading

Woodpeckers

27 Oct

If you have been to a conference where I am at, either speaking or asking questions, you have undoubtedly heard me mention woodpeckers.  Usually after I ask the question or bring up the topic there is laughing.  I don’t know if the laughing is because of the concept or the laughing is because they think I am an idiot (the later would not be completely out of line).

Well, I guess I may have been ahead of the curve; I cannot claim full credit on the thought as Jonathan Lifshitz, PhD and I had a discussion about a year ago about the woodpecker.  A Chinese scientist has looked more in-depth into this animal as it relates to concussions, via theStar.com;

“These findings would be applied to human protective devices such as sports helmet designs,” says Yubo Fan, a bioengineer at Beijing’s Beihang University and the senior study author.

Fan says woodpecker skulls have evolved with several varied layers of protection that allow them to absorb the fierce — up to 1,000 G — forces of their occupation.

And, he says, some of these anatomical traits may well be translatable into helmet features.

The study was released Wednesday by the online journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.

Of interest was what anatomical features the small bird had that may be preventing brain injury.  There were three identifiable features that may be worth looking into: Continue reading

Observations: Nick Mercer

26 Oct

I watch Jersey Shore. I am neither proud nor ashamed of that. I just watch it. I doubt I’d watch it the same way if I hadn’t done a biology degree. Everything from examining ecosystems and watching vigilance behaviour to detailing the lives of fruit flies was based on objective observation. It is with that eye of an unimpassioned observer that I tend to watch any reality show, especially those shows that are trying to depict life in an ‘open’ environment. It’s fairly obvious that, although not scripted, Jersey Shore takes place in a well controlled, or at least well influenced environment. The Situation (Mike) – a nickname he seemingly gave himself – recently slammed his head into a wall. Purposefully I might add!

He went to hospital,was diagnosed with whiplash, given a foam neck brace and told to lay low for a week (not go out to clubs – a near nightly occurrence on the show). The Situation was never a favourite member of the house; he always drew attention and animosity to himself. He is also depicted as being aggressive, arrogant and naive. About to get into a fight, he got himself riled up and threw his head into the wall. After the shock and concern about his immediate well-being had subsided Continue reading

Research Resource

26 Oct

Although the information on this blog at times can seem like it is based in opinion, that is truly not the case.  A vast majority of the education and awareness comes from much smarter individuals that spend time in the research field discovering things.  The largest problem with brain injury, especially concussions, is that we do not fully understand the dynamics of the human brain; secondarily we struggle with the exact concept of the injury.  More and more research is “hitting the press”, however it is geared toward/written for an audience that has background in science.

The occasional article will get media coverage that can redefine the information so it can be consumed by the public, similar to what is being done here.  Frankly, the general public (see coaches, teachers, parents, athletes) rarely spends time in the journals for information.  That is what ATC’s, MD’s, DO’s, PhD’s, etc. are for, right?

Recently the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (ABME) ran a special edition compiling 21 different articles as it relates to concussion from various authors.  The information is from a wide variety of perspectives: sports biomechanics, to automobile safety, to military blast events.  The online version of this issue was released earlier this month and it will be in print January 2012.

Here is a list of the articles (with links to abstracts); Continue reading

Random Videos

25 Oct

Here are some random videos…

In the first one notice the Fencing Response then the seizure after the wrestler hit his head;

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In this video we see the anatomy of a soccer concussion;

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Tuesday Quick Hits

25 Oct

College football is not immune from the incidence of concussions, although as John has shown the reported numbers seem lower.  There are reasons for this, but I will let him explain them to you more in-depth.  Regardless, the injury occurs as in the case of some “higher” profile athletes.

Justin Blackmon, possibly the best wide receiver in the country of Oklahoma State sustained a possible concussion this past Saturday and was held from practice.  This is not unusual but the term used by OSU to describe Blackmon’s injury is horrible;

Justin Blackmon was held out of Oklahoma State’s practice Sunday night after getting “dinged” in the head during the first half of Saturday’s win against Missouri.

Dinged, really?  C’mon man!!!

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Soap Box Second:

Referring to concussions as a “head injury” diminishes the actual effects the injury is having.  The more prudent and descriptive term would be brain injury.  Unfortunately while listing injuries Continue reading

Snee Talks About Recent Concussion

24 Oct

Chris Snee of the New York Giants sustained a concussion in a game versus the Seahawks, he has never experienced this injury before.  He recently gave and interview to ESPNNewYork.com and Mazzeo openly discussing what he went through;

“It was scary to think that you’re going to pass out on the field,” said Snee, who missed the Buffalo game because he couldn’t pass baseline tests during the week of practice prior to the contest. “I’ve been fortunate not to have one before.”

On Monday, Snee practiced for the first time since Continue reading

Coexistence of Concussion and Football

24 Oct

I have been asked to write about concussions from time to time.  I attempted a chapter on concussions for a book at some point, over the next few weeks I will post this chapter, as I wrote it, no matter how horrible it is.  After all I am not an author, but at least you can take a look.  This particular chapter deals with concussions in the sport of football.  We all should know this injury can be sustained in any sport.  Because football is the biggest draw of sporting eyes I felt it was best to present it in this way.

The sport of American Football is rooted in the traditions and fabric of this fine country.  It begins as early as dad or mom can hold their child and watch the game which we have grown to love.  The passion shown by fans across America, particularly amongst the college football teams is down-right near pandemonium at times.  For most people in small college towns the football team is its identity and source of pride.  From Boise to Tuscaloosa people watch with anticipation and understanding of the game that allows them to gain some semblance of glory and excitement with the players. Along with all the glory and excitement that comes with watching and playing the sport come risks, mainly associated with injury.

The casual fan has learned a lot about injuries, Continue reading

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce

21 Oct

Yesterday we posted the press release regarding the hearing on concussions and the marketing of sports equipment.  Soon after that post I received many communications about what was said and my feelings on the subject.  Before we get into how exactly I feel regarding this one short hearing I think you should take the time to see it for your self.  It is a long hearing with five witnesses, so you will have to have a lot of time, HOWEVER IF YOU ONLY HAVE 10 MINUTES IT CAN BE SUMMED UP FROM THE 30:20 MARK TO THE 40:45 MARK.

Click HERE to jump to hearing, via US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation website.

In those ten minutes you hear exactly what is wrong with current the current concussion situation, not from doctors, senators, or the “high-ranking” researchers, rather from former student-athletes that lost their playing careers due to this brain injury.  Alexis Ball and Steven Threet paint a picture of the athlete, Continue reading

2011 NFL Concussion Report Week 6 (Correction)

21 Oct

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).

At this point last year we were all digesting and inspecting the hit that Dunta Robinson levied on DeShaun Jackson, and the League was beginning the process to fine those offenders that needlessly took risks that could result in injuries.  There were 52 concussions in the regular season (8 in the preseason for a total of 60) last year at this point.  So a year later what has been observed; 55 concussion injuries in the regular season (36 in the preseason for a total of 91).  From a glance there has been little change in the regular season, the high preseason numbers could be chalked up to better awareness of the press  and perhaps the players more willing to come forward.  For perspective it took ten weeks to reach the 91 concussion mark last year.

Some may wonder whether this indicates a higher actual incidence of concussions Continue reading

The Need for Indpendent Evaluators on NFL Sidelines

20 Oct

We have discussed the NFL policy on concussions from preseason until last week when we discussed the apparent “dirt in the eye” issue that Vick dealt with.  We have even delved into some of the concerns and issues that face team medical staff’s when dealing with injuries, especially with high-profile athletes;

This has been a major issue in all professional sports; who pulls the most weight?  The athlete, coach, agent, owner or medical staff.  I would like to think that the organization would hire very competent medical staff’s (except some “team doctors” actually pay for the privilege), that would make decisions based upon safety.  I do know the AT’s do get a check from the organization so if they are hired by the club then shouldn’t they be listened to?  I mean, coaches are hired to make play calls and players are hired to run said plays, do the organizations meddle in their business (see Jerry Jones).  I would expect that teams would allow the AT’s and doctors to do what is right, and with that hope that the medical teams forgo score/importance and be proactive.

There was a specific line in the most recent NFL memo that sparked the above comment from me; “the NFL is telling medical staffs that they have the authority Continue reading

Udall and Rockefeller Hold Hearing

20 Oct

The Commerce Committee held a hearing on sports equipment labeled as “anti-concussion” or concussion prevention technology.  The issue is not that some products make the claim but there is no independent research to back up any of the claims.  I believe that this is an important issue, one we have highlighted regarding mouthguards previously.

Here is the press release;

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At a Commerce Committee hearing today, Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller and Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) highlighted two important points about sports concussions that are often overlooked: that concussions are a serious problem even for young athletes; and that sports equipment is often marketed as “anti-concussion” without sufficient proof.

“We now understand that this is not an injury only NFL players can suffer.  And it’s not just a football problem either,” Rockefeller said.  “More than 10,000 high school girl soccer players sustain concussions each year.  What’s even more troubling is that sports equipment manufacturers are exploiting our growing concerns about sports concussions to market so-called ‘anti-concussion’ products to athletes and their parents.  The American public has a lot of legitimate questions about the risk of concussions in sports and they deserve honest answers.” Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report 10/19/11

19 Oct

Each week we scour the web to find concussions in the National Hockey League.  We will keep a running tally on that information as the season progresses.  However, it is not easy as the NHL has decided that listing injuries as “upper body” or “undisclosed” is a good indicator of actual injuries occurred.  Our list is believed to be as accurate as possible, even including injuries that have vague listings but through reports and video analysis should be classified as concussions.  We will also be using “Fink’s Rule” to include concussions in the listing.

It is time for the first concussion report from the National Hockey League.  If you remember last year our comprehensive data gathering effort found 98 concussions in the regular season.  The League and teams have made a concerted effort to cut down on the unnecessary hits that could cause concussions; only time will tell if this will make an effect on overall numbers.

Here are the numbers to this point (league average of 5 games played); Continue reading

Central Illinois Conference (Semi-Live Blog)

19 Oct

Although I would like to live blog about the conference today in Clinton, I don’t think I will have the time but I can recap what has happened and will happen today.

I would first like to say I am extremely impressed with the attendance today, a very diverse audience: doctors, state administrators, athletic trainers, coaches, teachers and students.

Clinton High School Principal Ron Conner put together this conference today as he felt the adolescent athlete needs special attention so he put together this presentation with the help of Matt Munjoy, MHA, ATC.

The first speaker was Robert Keller, MD, a orothopedic surgeon that spoke on ACL injuries, the pathology, the evaluation, the surgery, recovery and prevention of ACL injuries.  Dr. Keller clearly identified that females may be more exposed to this significant injury than male counterparts.  A very good view/information from a surgeon.

The next speaker was Wendell Becton, MD, a sports medicine physician Continue reading

Conversations From Penn State

18 Oct

Forget Organized Sports For A Second

17 Oct

The concussion and head trauma issue has centered on organized sports, mainly football and hockey in North America.  Granted those are collision sports with a high propensity of traumatic events, but what about the activities that our children partake in on a daily basis.  At parks, streets, parking lots, and private property the youth is exposed to concussion/head trauma risks.  This information was brought to my attention by Sal Marinello, CSCS, CPT in response to the Matt Chaney post, thanks Sal.

In 2008 93 kids under the age of 15 were killed in bicycle accidents while a staggering 13,000 were injured, 62% of the injuries and deaths were due to head injuries.  This has been the reason for wearing helmets, especially for the youth.  These numbers probably don’t take into consideration the accidents that occur where a person may walk away and not seek treatment.  The ol’ bump on the head injury is of particular concern.

Bikes are not the only issue, skateboards and other wheeled activities have a high incidence as well.  According to Continue reading

How Does NFL Protocol Work? UPDATED

17 Oct

There have been examples of players seemingly being “dazed” by hits and going to the sideline, then returning to play a very short time later.  The most recent example is what happened yesterday in Washington as Mike Vick took a shot to the back of the head and then was motionless for a short time.  Only to rise rather “unsteadily” to be held up by players from both teams as those around him waived on medical attention for him.  You can see in the video below (certain to be pulled so see it quickly) at the 1:15 mark.

The official report was “dirt in the eye” is what caused him to be removed from the game for a short while.  Although it is tough to see through his visor (see sarcasm) while standing there, it appears dirt and grass was being removed from the outside of his helmet.  And this comment from LaRon Landry who tackled Vick on that play;

“I thought he was out myself, just figured, ‘OK, he’s out of there.’” Landry said. “But he was back in there, he’s a fighter.”

Vick has not been the only one, as Marques Colston of the Saints Continue reading

My Son Is Going To College

17 Oct

Parent Advocate, Tracey Mayer will be offering up her writings to The Concussion Blog as a resource to the readers, especially the parents out there.  As time allows she (and possibly her son Drew) will be submitting posts for you to read.  I truly hope that everyone gets a chance to read about concussions from yet another perspective.  Thank you Tracey!

Drew was accepted into his first college of choice, Illinois State University –  the only school he wanted to apply to.  This is wonderful news.  We were all holding our breath with anticipation, after all, Drew’s freshman and sophomore year transcripts held quite a few C’s.

I called our school psychologist, hoping for some guidance on how to approach the college in regard to accommodations for Drew.  Unfortunately, she more or less told me that we are on our own, and I will have to contact the disabilities office at ISU and find out what services they offer.  I can’t say that I am surprised to hear that, although it is disappointing.

I am going to make that call tomorrow, and there are so many thoughts in my head.  How do I approach this?  How do I organize the information so it’s as clear as possible?  Do I even have the right or enough information?  Are they even going to understand what I’m talking about?  Or will they care?  College is very different from high school, so is extra time on tests going to be what he needs?  Will he need breaks on tests, tutoring, etc.?  Who will help us determine this?  So begins another search for answers and based upon my previous work, you can see where I might be a bit concerned.

When I applied for extended time on the ACT for Drew, Continue reading

Week 6 Open Thread

16 Oct

Let us all rejoice in NFL football once again, as we watch our favorite teams and those teams that are carrying some of our money on the outcome, you can post and comment all day long here.  A quick flashback to MNF.

This is video of the hit that resulted in a concussion for Tony Scheffler, as well as a flag and fine for Brian Urlacher.  The game is vicious, Scheffler had to spend the night in the hospital and if not for sitting out a week no one would have known.  He walked away, seemingly normal and the next thing anyone knew he was in the CT tube.

Time to flip over to the RedZone.  Since the Broncos are on a bye and most of my fantasy team is on a bye (not Broncos) today I will be finishing up the random helmet survey for our 2011 “official” numbers, let the smack talk begin.

13:42CST: extremely quiet, not much happening on the concussion front at this time, which is a good thing…  I have finished my intended sample of helmets in the league.  Really wish I had actual numbers, but the current break down shows an increase in Schutt helmets this year from 27% last year to 36% this year.  Still way to many VSR4’s on the field, but each player has their own choice.

Most likely going to finish up with some extra helmet gathering this afternoon…

14:15CST: “Dirt In The Face”…  That is the report from the Eagles via FOX, according to many sources…  When is a motionless, unsteady, “groggy appearing” player just effected by dirt in the face?  How about the fact that not only his teammates, but the opponent was helping him stand and motioned for medical help.  The players knew…

Catastrophic Football: Matt Chaney

16 Oct

In the news just this weekend was the terrible news from Upstate New York, as Ridge Barden of Phoenix High School died due to head trauma suffered in a game on Friday.  This type of news rarely escapes the “lights” of the media, in fact Sports Illustrated picked up on this case recently.

However what about these names;

  • Brennan Barber, 17
  • Tucker Montgomery, 17
  • Logan Weber, 21
  • Dominic Morris, 21
  • Robby Mounce, 17
  • Zeth Shouse, 17
  • Adrian Padilla, 17
  • Adam Ingle, 17
  • Bobby Clark, 17
  • Shelton Dvorak, 17
  • Dillon Lackhan, teenager
  • 5 year-old from Hawaii
  • Unnamed teen from California
  • Connor Laudenslager, teenager
  • Dylan Mercadante, 16
  • Neiron Ball, 19
  • Alan Mohika, 17
  • Matt Ringer, 15
  • Jadon Adams, 16
  • Lamont Baldwin, 17

Those are kids that have Continue reading

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