Archive | October, 2012

‘Leaving on a jet plane’

30 Oct

Signing off until I can get up and running in Suisse…  Here is a lovely tune (BTW, I know when I will be back again):

See you soon!!!

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TBI Symptoms May Not Subside

30 Oct

In a press release (found on Digital Journal with a lawyers op-ed at the end, forget the source understand the implications) research is showing that war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are not showing improvement of traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms;

A brain health organization recently announced the results of a study of traumatic brain injuries. By looking at 500 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the research concluded that brain injury symptoms did not subside over the course of eight years. Instead, the veterans reported slightly worse conditions over the course of time. This research draws more attention to traumatic brain injuries as “invisible wounds.” Even though veterans with brain injuries may look completely whole and healthy on the outside, painful and frustrating consequences can continue to make post-service life extremely difficult.

Brain injury symptoms include severe headaches, memory problems, impulsivity or impaired judgment, and even depression. Taken as a group, these symptoms are often called post-concussive syndrome. At least 253,000 American servicemen and women were diagnosed with brain injuries in the last twelve years.

Study’s Results Show Bad News For Brain Injury Victims The new study looked at symptoms of post-concussive syndrome over a period of time. Researchers evaluated veterans with brain injuries during the first four years after a brain injury and then again in the next four years after that. Over the course of eight years, the researchers found that symptoms still had not diminished. Almost 50 percent of the surveyed veterans reported continuing headaches. Forty-six percent said  Continue reading

What Is Going On In Arizona?

30 Oct

I only lead the story that way because this past weekend there have been two “interesting” situations involving potential concussions of football players, with ‘Arizona’ on the jersey.

Yesterday I posted about Matt Scott, University of Arizona QB (Dan Diamond also has a follow-up to his story here) and today after Monday Night Football Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals is under the microscope.  I too was watching and was mystified at the handling of the situation.  Watching on television you could clearly see a mechanism of injury that would predispose a player to a head injury, then as he rose to his feet – to this highly trained observer – he appeared gazed and “not all there”.  Apparently I was not the only one to see it that way;

When he got up from the field picking grass out of his facemask and looking woozy, there were fewer questions about whether it was a dirty play by Brown—it wasn’t—than how much time Fitzgerald would miss due to a possible concussion.[…] Continue reading

Zurich… It’s Happening

29 Oct

Well I am jacked, a bit nervous, and thankful for this opportunity.

I head out tomorrow and if all goes well – electricity/wi-fi/rules, etc. – I hope to be blogging the conference live back to you here in the States.

There are many people I would like to thank for donations; there was a total of 8 people and one group that chipped in and since some don’t want to be listed on the blog I will just say thanks to all of you.  The donations offset the cost enough along with some handy savings, I was able to bring my wife along for a once-in-a-lifetime European date.  One group can be thanked, that is my high school Athletic Booster Club, as they surprised me with a 50/50 raffle in the last football home game.  I can also thank my parents as well for their kind donation.

This is mainly a “business” trip as I really want to get the information out to as many people as possible, often time we don’t get to hear about such things in a timely manner.  That being said I will do the best I can; there is a 7 hour time difference to central time, meaning on Thursday I should begin at 4am CST (earlier on Friday).  Regardless of the circumstances I do have wi-fi in the hotel so I can at the very least write a wrap up if needed (and it will be at a more convenient time for you).  I will also have Twitter available, so one way or another you will get information!

Here is the Program for the event.

I will also try to be “journalistic” and see if I can get a few of the presenters and those in attendance to answer questions.  The problem is that I don’t have any set questions to ask, feel free to include some in the comments section.

Again, I truly appreciate this opportunity and thank all of you who come to this blog, without the interest and massive amounts of hits a day this would never had happened.

Thank You!

Wildcat QB Puking After Hit, AND PLAYS ON!?!?!?!?

29 Oct

A few weeks ago we had ‘Woodsgate’, and in a game where USC was playing we now have ‘Scottgate’.  Arizona quarterback Matt Scott took a kick to the head and was immediately witnessed and reported throwing up.  Concussions are mainly a subjective injury, meaning we cannot “see” what is going on, however, there are times when a player/person exhibits signs of a traumatic head injury.

It has been my experience as an athletic trainer and one who deeply studies concussions that signs are often the best information we can get as clinicians/health care providers.  I have never been around a player that has had overt signs such as: balance disturbance, slurred speech, wandering eyes or VOMITING and not had a concussion.

Oh, Scott was returned to play…

I could and have gone on about this many times (see the ‘Woodsgate’ link above or another Pac-12 team and ‘Lockergate’ a few years back), but I believe Dan Diamond did an excellent piece on this for Forbes;

Congratulations, University of Arizona. Your football team just scored a big win over USC–partly because your quarterback played through an almost-certain concussion.

To be fair, it was your biggest victory in two whole years. And the NCAA’s not going to penalize you, so why protect your player? It’s not like we’ve learned anything about football and head injuries.[…]

By keeping Scott on the field, Arizona had little to lose, other than the game; the NCAA’s concussion policy is toothless and links to some of their head-injury resources don’t even appear to be working on their website. (Try clicking on “Behind the Blue Disk: NCAA’s Approach to Concussions.”)

And despite everything we know about head injuries, the culture of complicity extends to those who cover the sport. I didn’t actually watch the game, but was told that the announcers were blasé about Scott playing through his big hit. The initial write-ups on ESPN and elsewhere didn’t mention the sequence of events; others even celebrated Scott’s toughness. “Arizona Wildcats upset USC Trojans behind Matt Scott’s heart,” wrote SB Nation’s Kevin Zimmerman.  Continue reading

Call it what you want, just don’t panic

25 Oct

Confidence, arrogance, or indifference. It doesn’t matter which term you use, as long as you understand what it means to show any  of those characteristics. The popular conception is that confidence encapsulates valuing yourself, being proud of what you’ve accomplished and ‘standing up for yourself’. The unfortunate circumstance is that the word ‘confidence’ (as used in the phrase, ‘Have confidence in yourself’) appears to have been corrupted and used to connote an arrogant, narcissistic attitude. People who have been affected by brain injury, or any other health condition that has had detrimental effects on self esteem, are encouraged to  show confidence, with the hope that they will feel good about themselves when they go out into society. This is well-meaning, but perhaps, not the best way to go about instilling true confidence.

Confidence is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something; the state of feeling certain about the truth of something; a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

That is what confidence means. What’s often impressed on people – recovering from brain injury or not – is that Continue reading

Concussion Trending Stories

24 Oct

This morning I looked for the trending stories on concussions and the top three are as follows.

Concussions Bring More Scrutiny in Youth Football

  • Naturally this is stemming from the Pop Warner fallout; the game that resulted in five concussions and discipline against the adults that were coaching the game.
  • It brings up the debate of should kids that young be playing collision football.

As evidence mounts that repetitive head injuries can have a cumulative effect, and leagues at all levels take steps to improve player safety, parents said games where one team is physically overmatched should be stopped right away. Football is tough enough when the sides are fair, some parents said.

  • Massive size and skill advantages not with standing is it really a good idea to have our 5-12 year old’s go out there and be put in a situation where head trauma is not only present, but likely?

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Dale Jr. Cleared to Return

  • I have been sort of quiet on this particular concussion; mainly because I feel it was handled correctly.
  • If you follow racing sports you will notice that concussions are relatively low for the amounts of accidents that occur on a track at high-speed.  A couple of theories on that, one and most importantly Continue reading

More Mouthguards Make Our List

23 Oct

This is not a prestigious list by the way, it is more of a “beware of list”, and two different companies/mouthguards have now found my ire.  Perhaps I was “Pollyanna-ish” about companies continuing to claim that this particular piece of equipment can attenuate concussions or even reduce problems; it should have been fair warning with the FTC’s decision on Brain-Pad.

Any device placed in the mouth is for oral-dental protection, nothing more.  Any claims otherwise are not based on any scientific evidence, because none exists to my knowledge.  If you want to prevent what you see in the picture you must wear a mouthguard/device.  If you want to prevent concussions, don’t participate in collision or contact sports, period.

If I told you that one company says;

“A serious blow to the head can leave you with significant physical and mental problems years after you’ve hung up your equipment. Gladiator® may prevent or reduce the severity of concussion.”

What would you say to that?  But they are not the only one;

“By wearing a Guardian Mouthguard, you are helping to protect yourself against concussions!”

That will be the last time I mention those companies.  I don’t like to send traffic their way, but if you do not believe me Continue reading

YouTube Concussion Videos

23 Oct

Thought I would start off your Tuesday with some YouTube videos I have found.

First is one from Milly Mullins;

Second is from AdvocateHealthCare;

Click on the “Continuing Reading” link to see the other two videos…  Continue reading

The Brady’s on Sports Doctor Radio

22 Oct

Two very involved individuals in the concussion world are the husband/wife duo of Dr. Don and Flo Brady.  You have seen their work here many times and Don is a frequent commenter.  I encourage you to look at Don’s dissertation excerpts as well as Don and Flo’s myths of concussions.

A few weeks ago both Don and Flo had the opportunity to talk concussions on “Sports Doctor Radio” with Dr. Weil, you can jump straight to the .mp3 here.

Give it a listen and spread it around, Don and Flo do a good job of explaining concussions.

Pop Warner Game Results In Discipline

22 Oct

On September 15th there was a Pop Warner football game for 10-12 year-old’s; it did not end so well for the Tantasqua team, getting drubbed 52-0.  However, that was not the only story line of the game.  Evidently five players suffered a concussion is this ONE game, which resulted in discipline;

The five children missed various numbers of school days because of their injuries, and one has not returned to the field.

The coaches, Southbridge’s Scott Lazo and Tantasqua’s Erik Iller, were suspended for the remainder of the season and placed on probation through the 2013 season after a lengthy hearing Thursday conducted by Central Mass. Pop Warner.

The association presidents, Lazo’s brother, Doug Lazo of Southbridge, and Iller’s wife, Jen Iller of Tantasqua, also were placed on probation through the 2013 season because they attended the game and failed to take action, according to the hearing committee.

In addition, Continue reading

There Needs To Be More Of This

17 Oct

In Minnesota they are taking strides to get to the bottom of the issue of concussions, and frankly why more are not doing this is strange.  Why not gather the most data possible;

For the first time, solid numbers are being collected in Minnesota on how concussions really affect high school athletes.

The Minnesota Department of Health is tracking concussions at 42 high schools. Through the first seven weeks of the fall sports season, 373 student athletes have been diagnosed with a concussion.  According to one expert, the number seems to be on par with previous years.  This study is now providing a number for the issue.

The study reveals how many kids are getting hurt and how long the injuries are keeping them out of sports and out of school.  The medical professionals tracking student concussion in Minnesota don’t want the numbers to scare parents into pulling their kids out of sports, but rather make them aware of the symptoms and consequences.

Hey here is a bright idea; National Athletic Trainers Association why don’t you create a reporting platform similar to what is being done in Minnesota?  I would say state high school associations could do the same thing but AD’s and coaches are already bombarded by plenty of other things.

To grasp the total issue you must grasp the total problem; although unlikely perhaps concussions are not nearly the issue that some are making it?  Why not find out?

Someone get it done, and if needed I can collect the data; just need some resources and backing.

More Helmet News: Oversized Helmet?

17 Oct

Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) pointed out an article this morning from the Miami Herald regarding Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas;

Thomas said he passed the NFL-mandated cognitive tests Monday, and will now practice and play with an oversized helmet designed to minimize trauma to the brain.

I immediately thought to some of the many emails I receive regarding concussions, it was from ProCap; the soft shield placed on the outside of the helmet to reduce linear forces.  It has been re-branded and changed a bit to conform to the newer helmets (as you can see in the picture above).

This is no different from the CRT Technology that was in the previous Harrison post; it possibly will reduce the linear forces, but again how does it affect the acceleration/deceleration/rotation of the head which in turn effectively “moves/sloshes” the brain around inside the skull.

Without seeing what Thomas will be wearing this is our best guess, we will be interested to see any photos of what he is donning.

James Harrison A Head Trauma Spokesperson?

17 Oct

James Harrison, the oft criticized football player – rather punisher – of the Pittsburgh Steelers has now found time to make comments regarding safety of players brains.  I will admit that this tact is much more productive than blaming “soft” rules for his repeat offenses of the illegal hitting rules.  I suppose he would be a very good “test subject” for a new product that may provide protection of the head;

After enduring what he estimated as “double digit” bouts with concussion-like symptoms throughout his decade-long career, Harrison began using a special layer of padding inside his helmet last fall and is pleased with the results.

“I haven’t seen any spots or had any blackouts,” Harrison said Tuesday.

Although the article and the statements from Harrison seem more like an advertisement, it is clear and important to remember that the CRT technology does not and will not prevent concussions.  Interior padding is something helmet companies have been working on over the years; it is the place on this piece of equipment where changes can have an impact – rather reducing impact.

Before everyone runs out to get the CRT technology, which in my opinion has real and definite helpful qualities for its other uses, we need to remember that concussions are mainly a result of Continue reading

Why do I write?

17 Oct

Nick Mercers provides some insight into why he chooses to write for us and his blog.

Because, as much as it lets others ask questions, it encourages me to ask questions of myself.

Granted, I have always questioned myself, I’m hyper-self-critical. In general, it’s not necessarily a good thing. I hesitate or stop completely. I waste opportunities. I’ll pass up a good chance (with a woman, for a job,…) for a safer, if not longer, chance. However, in writing, my exhaustive self-analysis, is probably beneficial. It means I take longer to write, because I’m always correcting what I wrote and how I wrote it. There aren’t many sentences in this post that haven’t been ‘renovated’ in some way. That’s not to say there aren’t mistakes, or that I catch-all of those errors on the first, second, or even third read. I’m cognizant, but maybe not enough, of the propensity of my self-criticism to take the emotive punch out of what I write. So I try to guard against that. I try to be open, and I hope that shows through, but since this personality trait has been with me my whole life, it’s not completely natural for me to silence it. It is at constant odds with the my ‘newly’ acquired (9 years ago) impulsive nature.

My impulsive side has not completely balanced out my patient and measured side (or vice versa), but it has made some headway. That said, I’m certainly calmer and less anxious than I was before my brain injury, which could have more to do with the severity of my brain injury than with the injury itself, however I don’t know, I’m just speculating, and I don’t have any medical information to back up such a claim. See that? That was Continue reading

They Get It, But Don’t Get It

15 Oct

Having an athletic trainer at the high school, especially a school that has collision sports, is not only handy it is a down right necessity – for various reasons.  The most poignant being emergency care of injured athletes; it goes deeper than that.

Athletic Trainers are not only trained for medical emergencies but we are all trained for the routine and “normal” injuries that occur on the playing field/court.  Each day in my training room I see 4-5 new faces with new ailments that need tended to; this would be the coaches problems if I weren’t there.  Or, in some cases these “normal/routine” injuries are off to doctors offices – often general practitioners that see more illness than injury – for a time and money cost for the family.

I could write a 4,000 word post on the need for athletic trainers at high schools, but I feel most of you understand, and for the most part the schools understand.  I am not talking about the athletic trainer that comes to a school once a week to see injuries (the lowest level of coverage and inadequate in my opinion), I am speaking about the need for the everyday athletic trainer.  In the case of “they get it, but don’t get it” I give you the Washoe County school system in Nevada (BTW, they are not the only ones, but a good example); Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Week 5

11 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).

This past week was an interesting week for concussion tracking in 2012.  First, week 5 had the most concussions for the week, 12.  Second, week 5 produced our first quarterback concussions (2) with RGII and Matt Cassel.  Third and finally, two players – Laurent Robinson and Daniel Thomas – sustained their second concussion of the season.

A trend that I find unusual, and it is only week 5, is that the offense is now outpacing the defense.  Although it is a bit over 30% more I feel that as the season progresses this will become a 50/50 split as it has been the past two years.

Now on to the numbers for the week (51 total regular season concussions bringing the 2012 total with preseason to 99); Continue reading

Let Us Hear From Woods about “Woodsgate”

10 Oct

TCB follow-up to Robert “Woodsgate” and this is not the first time the PAC-12 has been under the microscope here at TCB, if you recall “Lockergate” a few years back.

There are hundreds if not thousands of hits on any given weekend in football that will result in concussions across the football landscape, many go unnoticed, except by the trained medical staff (mainly athletic trainers); certainly we see a very limited number on national TV.  However last week Robert Woods of USC was drilled in the head while blocking that resulted in OVERT signs of brain trauma.  Before we go further we should define what a concussion is, in its simplest terms:

  • A concussion, at the very base level, is a pathological event that results from forces to the brain that cause disruption of normal brain activity.  These “disruptions” can occur immediately or in a delayed response.  Regardless, any disruption of normal physical, cognitive or emotional behavior would fit this criteria.

The new standard of care for concussions across all levels is that if someone exhibits signs of a concussion they should be removed from play for a proper evaluation.  If there is no one there to do a proper evaluation (see youth and HS levels) then that player may not be returned to the game and cannot return to sport without a medical clearance from a physician.

As I have stated many a time most evaluations on the sideline are either a case of detective work – weeding through the subjective nature of the injury – or not needed because of the overt signs and clinical presentation.  I say this as an expert, one who deals with concussions in sport on almost a daily basis.  Observation is the most trusted source for concussion detection; whether it be observation  Continue reading

In Her Own Words: Rachel Abrams

9 Oct

To anyone else September 22 is any other day, for me it is forever etched in my mind; I call it the devil’s day. Many people are slowly beginning to understand concussions, I want to make sure that the world knows how serious they are, how simple it is to get one and what you can go through if you get one. I will do this by explaining my story.

I was a rough tough athletic kid in high school; who had a few injuries during that time, fractured my back twice, tore my quad and fractured my orbital bone. Nothing kept me out for that long; I did rehabilitation, rested for a short time and did physical therapy. I never thought anything of concussions, I was uneducated of this injury. I was one of those kids that thought, “Oh it’s just a bump on the head, I’ll be fine.” I graduated high school and went to a community college upstate, I was going to play soccer and softball there. I was one of the goalkeeper’s on the women’s soccer team and was having the time of my life. What is better for a kid whose life was sports, I loved every part of it, that was what I was known for and who I was. Then came September 22, 2010, when my life changed.

It was during one of our games, I was in goal and my team was up by a few goals if I remember correctly. Sometimes it is hard to keep complete focus when you do not get much action in goal. It was a corner kick from the opposing team, it came into my area and I went out to catch it in the air. It was not a very hard kick, I misjudged it a bit and caught it against the side of my face and then brought it into my hands. It hurt a little bit but I was fine and kept playing, finishing out the rest of the game. Then came the headaches, I didn’t think anything of it because I thought, “oh that barely hit me and hardly hurt, it’s just a little knock to the head.” I practiced the next day and the next 3 days after the hit, the headaches were getting worse. A friend suggested that I go see the athletic trainer and that I may have a concussion. I refused to go see him, I believed that I just had some small headaches and he would take me out when I didn’t need to be sat out. I was forced to go see him and got checked out, I was taken out, just as a precautionary. Then it got worse, my symptoms got worse, now experiencing nausea and increased headaches. I went to the emergency room at a local hospital where they did either a MRI or CAT scan, I don’t remember exactly. Everything came out fine, the hospital gave me medication for my headaches and nausea and I went back to my dorm. This was on Friday September 24, 2010; my mom came up to see my game that Saturday September 25, 2010, when I told her that I was not playing because of a suspected concussion. I ended up having to go home that Monday Continue reading

Still Relating

9 Oct

A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled Relating. It was about the new (past 9 years, since my brain injury) difficulty I had relating to others. I discuss how it’s tough to convey the experience and how great the help from my friends and family was. Recently, I read an article, entitled Voyages in Concussion Land: the homeless, Sidney Crosby and me by Tabatha Southey in The Globe and Mail on Friday, Oct 5, 2012. In it, Tabatha wonders about, “the dissociation many concussion sufferers experience”.

Immediately I thought ‘Dissociation! That’s the word! Perfect.’ However, being my critical, nit-picking-self, I soon found reasons why ‘dissociation’ wasn’t, in fact, ‘perfect’ to describe me. This bit of criticism was made much easier by my recent trip to Toronto and London, Ontario to see my best friends from university. We had a great time! Not only that, I got to see their children (except one). Dissociated could in no way describe how I felt at any time that weekend. Even though all the guys are married and almost all have children, it was such an easy, if not natural, situation that it was as though we still all lived in the same house (Granted, their actual houses now are much, much, cleaner – I can’t emphasize that enough).

Then I came home and this past weekend had a much different, yet also easy/natural time at a friend’s party. So, I’ve started thinking  Continue reading

Cantu Interview with SportsLetter

8 Oct

Thanks to a heads up serial emailer I was able to not miss this interview of Dr. Robert Cantu, appearing in the SportsLetter – it appears to be written by David Davis.  There were some very good questions and answers, below is a sampling;

SL: When did you first realize that concussions in youth sports were becoming a major problem?

RC: When I was a sideline physician for a high school football team over 30 years ago.  That’s when it occurred to me that we needed some written guidelines for returning our young athletes to the field of play after they suffered a head injury.  That’s what led me to write the first Return to Play Guidelines back in 1986.

I’m a strong supporter of youth sports, but no head trauma is good head trauma.  You cannot condition the brain to taking blows. If you subject the brain to enough head trauma, permanent brain damage may happen.

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SL: In your practice today, what are the most common myths — the most common misconceptions — about concussions among youth athletes?  Is it that there has to be a contact sport involved?

RC: I think the number-one most serious misconception is that you have to be rendered unconscious to have suffered a concussion.  More than 90 percent of athletic concussions occur without any loss of consciousness.  There are 26 symptoms associated with concussions, and loss of consciousness is only one of those.

Another very common myth is that concussions become exponentially worse as you accumulate them, so that your first one will be more mild than your second, and your third will be worse than your second one.  That’s just not reality.  The concussions happen to be whatever they are based on the forces involved.  I’ve seen many individuals whose first concussion was much more severe than subsequent ones.

===

SL: How is a concussion involving a youth athlete different than a concussion involving an adult athlete? Continue reading

STOP The Madness

8 Oct

That was the subject line in an email I received this morning, from a mom, and she is right.  It must be stopped and if anyone continues to do it they should be called out by the press or others.  We are speaking of the headlines around Robert Griffin, III and his traumatic brain injury yesterday.  They all seem to say the same thing.

RGIII has mild concussion

If not in the headline it is in the body and particularly by head coach Mike Shanahan when discussing the issues surrounding the injury;

“He wasn’t sure what quarter it was in the third quarter. So at that time, when he wasn’t really sure what the score was, what the quarter was, we knew he had a mild concussion — at least according to the doctors,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said after his team fell to 2-3. “It feels good right now; a lot better right now. But that was … why he didn’t go back into the game.”

There is nothing that grates on me more than that term being used.  I used to get angry and yell at the TV and send emails but that does not work. At least one writer understands this (and perhaps has read my previous posts on it);

Concussions aren’t chicken wing flavors. Calling something a “mild concussion” is like telling someone that your wife is “kind of pregnant.” A concussion is, medically speaking, known as TBI. That stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. Not mild brain injury, spicy brain injury or Caribbean jerk brain injury. Traumatic brain injury.

The term “mild,” within the context of concussions isn’t even mean to say that a concussion is less damaging. In fact, the only reason that the term mild is thrown around by doctors and health care professionals is because it’s not life-threatening.

I guess I will just repost the blog about “mild” concussions and hope that it doesn’t fall on deaf ears/eyes.

Hogwash!  There is NOTHING mild about a concussion, period.  However media, teams, players and even medical staffs continue to use this nomenclature with this injury.  It is simply counterproductive to label this injury with a “mild” tag, and hampers the effort of everyone trying to increase awareness.

Granted, those that have extensive training in the area of injuries, and particularly head injuries, understand the term “mild” when it is in concert with concussion.  This subset of the population is not the one that needs the education, rather it is the general public, which includes players, coaches and parents.  A common problem amongst people who are educated in a particular field is that they forget about both who they are servicing and the education level of people other than their peers.  It’s a fine balance to educate without talking down to others, but understanding the stigmas of the topics help with that effort.

One serious stigma is the “mild” tag that is placed on concussions.  Those that watch and participate in sports are so used to using that clarification when assessing and addressing injuries as a whole, that perhaps it carries over to the traumatic brain injury just sustained by the athlete.  We as athletic trainers and doctors need to reassess how we describe this particular injury.

During my public speaking I often relate being “mildly” concussed to being “mildly” pregnant…  You are either concussed or not, just like you are pregnant or not.

Some may say that “the symptoms are mild”, or that the “prognosis of the injury is mild”, Continue reading

Robert “Woodsgate” in Utah

5 Oct

I don’t know if many of you were able to watch the USC/Utah football game last night but there was a very disturbing incident that had to deal with a head injury.

I don’t want to pirate the link from SB Nation so CLICK HERE to see the .gif of the hit and aftermath (its important to my commentary).  So to me, Woods gets hit in the head, immediately displays a Fencing Response, looks “lifeless” then returns to his feet only to stumble and eventually fall flat on his face – I seriously doubt he was drinking at the moment.

Then, unbelievably this happens;

According to reporters in the press box, Woods was then seen trying to convince USC trainers he’s up for returning to the field immediately. The Trojans took the field in Utes territory with Woods back in — Samantha Steele reported Woods went through a complete concussion test, but is “good to go.”

How in the world does a high level college football medical staff completely miss this?  How is he even allowed to return, heck the officials were looking right at him on his face plant.  Did I mention that when he got up from the “drunken stooper” he was walking to the wrong bench?

This is not good people…  Granted I was not down there to evaluate him, but the signs CLEARLY indicated a head trauma.  If you were watching the St. Louis Rams game Quinten Mikell had a similar incident, although he was KO’ed and did not return.

I will be very interested to see what the reasoning was behind putting him back in the game, other than “he is our best player”.

2012 NFL Concussion Report Week 3 & 4

4 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).

Frustration.  That is about where I stand in tracking the concussions this year, but like most people that want to succeed you have to adapt and find new ways.  If you have been reading you know of this; the NFL is not listing the injury on the official injury report, as it has done so previously.  Eventually they list them but not till Sunday.  This has pushed my report out and even creates adjustments from the previous weeks.

Enough of my problems…  Week 3 we saw some very vicious hits, one that resulted in a suspension, and relatively few concussions.  We have only been able to unearth six this week and that may be all there is.

Another interesting variable is the return of the official officials; this could be something worth keeping an eye on.  Players have readily admitted that they respect the “real” officials much more and are less likely to take liberties within the frame-work of the game.  If health-safety is a top priority and the officials have an impact we will see some results here in this cataloging of the concussions, perhaps.

Week 4’s injuries proved to be a bit easier to find, which makes sense if there were not as many concussions in Week 3.  Again, even though some players were being removed and even “evaluated” they are not listed as a concussion on the teams official injury report.  Here are the Week’s 3 and 4 numbers (6 in W3 and 10 W4); Continue reading

Zurich Update

3 Oct

With less than one month until the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport I thought I would give you an update on where TCB and myself stand on attending.  Let me begin by saying that the registration process and “customer support” is very slow and chaotic.

Upon registration, it took nearly 4 weeks to get a response and I wasn’t the only one; others had the same experience.  When FIFA finally got back to me they told me that I was on the wait list because there were no more seats.  Which was odd because I was told in an email two days prior to registering (month before email) there were still “plenty of seats”.

However there was a small problem, with the donations I received (nearly $400) I was able to use that plus some of my money to begin working on travel arrangements, including purchasing the nonrefundable plane ticket to Zürich.  Needless to say I was panicked a bit, however I found that a fellow concerned person would no longer be able to attend.

Thanks to Katherine Price Snedaker of sportscapp.com I will be confirmed a seat at the conference as her registration will be (or we hope as the wonderful lines of communication are about as fast as pigeons) transferred to me.  All said and done I was able to squeeze out some money and get there; not only do I think it is important to be able to report on the event (maybe even real-time), but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit amongst some of the most prevalent researchers in concussions.

I am also still taking donations as I will have to repay a vast majority of this…  Because I said this was going to be an “open” book investment for people below is the costs; Continue reading

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