Archive | December, 2012

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 16

28 Dec

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).

REMINDER: I am asking for your help this week; as you probably have noticed by my tweets and facebook posts.  The NFL teams that do not make the playoffs and don’t play in the Wild Card round (24 of them) do not have to report concussions after this week.  I am looking for you the reader to tweet/email us any concussion found.  It has to be within these parameters:

  1. Reported by team/media
  2. Have a source

As always you can tweet/send me info about a particular instance of questionable action taken after a huge hit.  I thank you in advance as we are pumped to possibly have the first ever “official” Week 17 concussion report.

Week 16 brought us the “usual” numbers but an unusual occurrence of a player fessing up to a concussion four days later, as Greg McElroy divulged his injury to the team late in the week.  Along with the “usual” numbers we have surpassed last years total concussion count in the regular season (by four and counting).

I really don’t have an opinion this week to share with all of you so let us get onto the numbers for the past week in the NFL… Continue reading

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Why Are We Surprised?

28 Dec

The last two days have provided some good “nuggets” to digest on about concussions and professional sports, particularly the NFL.  The first is an article about Jets quarterback Greg McElroy and hiding his concussion for days;

The New York Jets’ coaching staff didn’t know Greg McElroy had been experiencing concussion symptoms this week.

His teammates did.

Apparently McElroy was confiding in some teammates following the game and no one blew the whistle.  The fact that they did not and the QB didn’t either should not be shocking nor should it be deemed out of the ordinary.  Unfortunately, the pressures of the job as well as previous examples – Alex Smith – mixed with the current misunderstanding of concussions in the NFL make this a common occurrence.

Yes, there are more players speaking up, but they are the starters and established players; for the most part they are given plenty of time to heal, however the back-ups and “tweener” guys are not so fortunate.  In a very cut throat business identifying an injury can mean the end of your employment, and in the case of McElroy it most likely meant he will not get another shot at the starting QB position in New York.

Inside that article you can see the “warrior mentality” that players have about such injury, when Matt Slauson divulged his recent concussion history; Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 15

21 Dec

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).

After last week and the NFL reporting only six concussions this week picked right back up to previous levels.  We have unearthed 14 concussion for Week 15; showing that last week was definitely an outlier.  Since Week 11 the number of concussions per week were as follows: 16, 19, 15, 6, and 14.  As my two-year old’s favorite TV show says “one of these things are not like the others”.

Our data collection, the most comprehensive since 2010, has shown that more than 50% of ALL concussions in the NFL occur after week number 9, or the back half of the season.  As of this week we have surpassed the Week 1-9 total of 80; there have been 82 since Week 10.  Of course the pundits will tell you that all the byes have taken place, so more teams means more concussions; true.  However, as the season wears on and the accumulation of hits to the head compile, the theory of cumulative subconcussive blows eventually creates concussive episodes may also be a culprit of our bigger numbers in the second half.

Going forward into the last two weeks – wait one week (I will get that in a second) it will be interesting to see if the trend continues or if there will be another “outlier”.  About that “one” week thing I just mentioned; sure there is two games left but because 67.5% of the league is done after Week 17 concussion reporting is horrible.  As was explained last week, teams will not – do not – report concussions if they are not playing a game in the 1st round of the playoffs.  It takes work from the media and other information gathering Continue reading

National Concussion Awareness Tour

18 Dec

It is an idea that can catch on, real quick, it has the basic tenet of education/awareness at its core, with the right promotion and teaching/tools I am in agreement this will do some good.  The plan is to have a national concussion awareness month, September, and along with that have a tour across the United States.  Instead of me trying to explain it, here is a promotional video, geared to finding sponsors for this event;

I do not endorse the Shockwave System, I am only endorsing the idea of an awareness tour….  Heck I don’t even know about baseline and/or neurcognitive testing…  However the idea to inform everyone is sound…

NFL Concussion Litigation – The Science of Sport

18 Dec

That is the title given to the upcoming webinar/teleconference sponsored by Perrin Conferences.  These events are mainly geared toward attorneys/lawyers and offer continuing education credits (CLE) for attending.  Below is the press release;

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Experts in NFL Concussion Suits join together to tackle industry trends, litigation challenges, and the science in sports injuries on Jan. 8.

Berwyn, PA – Perrin Conferences‘ teleconference series presents “NFL Concussion Litigation – The Science of Sport,”  a program bringing together leading attorneys, doctors and other experts to discuss the issues dominating the headlines of the concussion cases against the NFL, NCAA and equipment manufacturers.  The teleconference will be hosted on Jan. 8 at 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. EST.

The program provides an overview of the current allegations and defenses in NFL concussion litigation, an update on the latest scientific studies, and tackles other issues including:

  • The potential legal and economic impact of concussion litigation for players, sports leagues and uniform equipment manufacturers
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy – what is it and how does the science fit into the current litigation strategies?
  • The history of the dangers of head injuries and the timeline of NFL-sponsored studies/concussion rules
  • Medical monitoring and other potential damages
  • Duty to defend, trigger, occurrence and other insurance issues

Speakers include Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 14

14 Dec

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).

It seems that concussion tracking has hit a “major market” finally with the launch of the PBSFrontline/ESPN Concussion Watch, which is another good source for information.  Their Concussion Watch includes all players that were listed on the NFL Official Injury reports, with either “concussion” or “head” injuries.  This gathers a vast majority of the concussions but they will miss some.

I had the opportunity to pseudo-collaborate with the entities that are compiling this information (via phone and email contact), and we discussed how their numbers would be different from ours here or a place like @NFLConcussions on Twitter.  Our discrepancies go to further the hot mess that is the NFL concussion issue summarized by the Fainaru brothers today.

I not only utilize the Official Injury Report but other methods; data mining and sources.  I had to go that route after Will Carroll explained to me that teams only have to list players that are/may be in a position to play that week or will be out.  In other words, if for some reason a player was concussed and was told he was concussed – even reported as concussed – but miraculously had no issues come Wednesday deadline for the OIR then they would not be listed.  Likewise if a player Continue reading

Matthew Gfeller Neurotrauma Symposium

12 Dec

Loudermilk_picsIn Zurich I had the chance to speak to many people; I enjoyed my brief time speaking with Jason Mihalik – fellow athletic trainer.  He reminded me of the previous Symposium in North Carolina and the upcoming second version.  I asked him to send along an email and I would put it up on the blog.  Here it is, and he is right, make sure you register NOW, it fills fast.

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It is with great excitement that my colleagues and I will be hosting the Second Matthew Gfeller Neurotrauma Symposium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 8-9, 2013. We have lined up another great list of local, regional, and national speakers. For additional information regarding a schedule of topics, invited faculty, and links to negotiated hotel rates, please visit us at http://tbicenter.unc.edu, and click on “TBI Symposium” in the header. A direct link to register for the symposium is as follows: http://tinyurl.com/c576kdu.

Our first symposium sold out 2 months prior to the scheduled event, so register early! Current Early Bird rates in effect until January 8, 2013 are as follows:   Continue reading

Nick Mercer: Understanding Runs Both Ways

12 Dec

First off, Movember 2012 is over and the moustache is gone. Thank you to everyone who donated, whether it was to me or not, the money goes to the same very worthwhile cause.

Now, onto the post…

Yesterday, I tweeted  a story from the New York Times, “Report Urges ‘Cultural Shift’ as Hockey Coaches Defy Concussion Specialists”. In the study, in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Dr. Paul Echlin writes, “Concussion is a significant public health issue that requires a generational shift. As with smoking or seat belts, it doesn’t just happen overnight — it takes a massive effort and collective movement.” I couldn’t agree more! Which leads me to this post.

I’ve previously written about this idea and I’m happy to see that I’m not alone. For this ‘generational shift’ and ‘massive effort and collective movement” to occur, we need to stop dividing ourselves. Right now, there seem to be two camps. Those who’ve had a brain injury or have a close relationship with someone who has, and those who play contact sports and relish the ‘contact’ aspect. The latter is the group that we’re trying to educate about concussions and the former is the group that knows about it all too well.

There has been a blatant ‘make them understand’ movement and, not surprisingly, it hasn’t worked overnight, or it’s been begrudgingly accepted. At times, the higher levels of an organization like the NHL or NFL  have fully endorsed changes to contact rules and have subsequently, unilaterally imposed them on the players and officials. In the case of the NFL,Commissioner Roger Goodell, counter-productively and idiotically, pushed for a longer season, so players could collide more and have more opportunity to be concussed. But I digress…

It feels like there is a discernible “you’re either with us or against us” attitude. Not to get too political here, but Continue reading

Radio Interview: Matt Chaney

11 Dec

Matt has become a contributor here on the blog and I enjoy the work he has done not only for The Concussion Blog but for everyone.  It’s not a secret that a bit of Matt goes a long way, to say he is opinionated would be a complete understatement.  Matt has very valuable insight into many things; performance enhancing drugs (his book Spiral of Denial is a must read), catastrophic injuries and concussions.  He has lived all of them, making what he has to say valuable.  Just like what I write or opine on, you can take it however you choose but make sure you try to find the salient points.  As many have told me, it’s not the message that is incorrect, rather the way you are conveying the message.

Matt had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Bob Weil out of Chicago regarding all things Matt Chaney.

You can listen HERE.

In Case You Missed It, the NFL/NFLPA Agree on Neuro Benefits

11 Dec

nflpaI caught this from Paul D. Anderson, apparently Darren Rovell had it as well; the NFL and the NFLPA finally agreed on neurocognitive benefits for NFL players as part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.  Obviously this was long overdue, but it is now a done deal.  You can read the nuts and bolts on Anderson’s blog HERE.

The gist of the agreement is that players who are fully vested and played one season after 1994 can get compensation for documented neurocognitive disabilities, something that has been missing from coverage since the beginning of time.  But, and its a HUGE BUT, there is a caveat (from Anderson’s blog);

In order to receive the benefits, the player must sign a release promising not to sue the NFL. In other words, if a player accepts the benefits he cannot join the NFL concussion lawsuits. Stated differently, if a player is currently a plaintiff in the concussion lawsuits, in order to receive the benefits, he will likely have to dismiss his lawsuit. The release will not waive any future workers’ compensation claim he may have against a team.

The plaintiffs in the concussion lawsuits, that played after 1994, have a decision to make: Continue reading

2012 NFL Concussion Report Post Week 13 – LATE

11 Dec

Guess the holiday season has many people behind on tasks, including yours truly.  Anyhow, here is the report from after 13 weeks in the NFL.  The report for week 14 should make it to this space by the end of the week (cross your fingers, ha).

During Week 13 we found 15 concussions, seems the weekly average is going up.  We now have 142 regular season concussions – 190 since camp opened.  NOTES: The offense continues to hold roughly a 10% advantage in concussions, which is weird it should be a 50/50 split…  Including preseason DB’s have more concussions (48) then the rest of the defense (38) – 36/28 split in regular season…  Interestingly RB, TE, OL, DL and LB all have similar occurrence; WR and DB’s are higher and QB’s way low…  I think we are going to see a new season “high water” mark, credit to Will Carroll for calling this before the season…  ()’s represent last week’s numbers…;

  • 142 Concussions/head injuries (127)
  • 10.92 Concussions/week (10.60)
  • 185 Projected Concussions (180)
  • 0.73 Concussions/game (0.70)
  • 12.90% InR (12.49)
  • 10.95% EInR (10.61)
  • 70 Offensive (78) – 57 Defense (64)
  • Positionally Speaking
    • QB – 7 (7), RB – 14 (16), TE – 13 (14), WR – 24 (27), OL – 12 (14), DL – 10 (13), LB – 15 (15), DB – 32 (36)
  • Team Breakdown
    • OAK – 12
    • DET, JAX – 8
    • CLE, IND, KC, WAS – 7
    • NE, NYJ, PIT – 5
    • CAR, CHI, DAL, MIN, NYG, SEA, SF STL, TB, TEN – 4
    • ARI, BUF, CIN, DEN, GB, MIA, NO, PHI – 3
    • BAL, HOU, SD – 2
    • ATL – 1
    • NONE – 0

Our definition of Incidence Rate (InR) is projected concussions/45 players taking the field per team per game, our definition of Epidemiological Incidence Rate (EInR) is projected concussions/53 man roster per team.

Comparing to past seasons the following has been found after Week 13: # (2011, 2010):

  • Regular Season Concussions – 127 (122, 119)

How To Choose A Sport

11 Dec

Choosing a sport/activity for your child can be difficult – it shouldn’t be initially – as they progress in age and skill level.  Some believe there are factors that come into play when beginning to “specialize”, including injury risk; this is true.  However, our current culture is making the sporting issue way more difficult than it needs to be.

I may not be the best parent, certainly I’m not the first to accomplish this feat, but I do try to be A PARENT and not a friend.  When it comes to sports I let my children choose what they want to play.  My son is now 7, getting ready to get neck-deep in sport and the culture of sports.  He has shown some above average skills in a few sports, and loves one sport; however I will not force him to be exclusive, nor will I be crushed if he chooses not to play.  I will encourage him and my other kids to play MULTIPLE sports and do multiple things, for their entire life.

Alas, there are some families that are weighing the issue of choosing, say football over soccer, or vice versa; tennis or hoop, etc.  Injury risk can be a massive component in this decision so getting all the information is best before choosing, just like making informed decisions.  When discussing concussions and catastrophic injuries the sports we play do matter.

Mom’s Team has a video from Dr. Lyle Micheli, Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, which can be found HERE.  It does bring up some good points but Continue reading

Outreach: Jay Fraga

5 Dec

tweet-retweetWe are beginning a new program here at TCB.  This one is called “Outreach”; the purpose is to publicize the good (we hope the vast majority) and sometimes the not so good of concussion management and experiences across this vast planet.  One thing I realized real quick in Zürich is that the stories of the bad are relatively the same, usually highlighted in the media.  Meanwhile the stories of good are different and helpful and not heard at all.  I am asking our readers to send in stories of your cases (please be mindful identifying specifics) so we can share.  There are vast stories in the comment section but I would like to bring forward as many as possible.

The stipulations are simple: 500-2000 words with specific situations that we all can learn from and benefit from, email them to us at theconcussionblog@comcast.net and consent to possible editing as I see fit.  It would be nice if you included a bio or frame of reference, but if you would like to remain anonymous that is fine to (however, it would be good if you included something like “licensed doctor in _____ (state)” or coach, athletic trainer, mom, dad, etc.

I love people who are as, or more, active about concussion awareness, Jay Fraga has shown he means business.  He sent in his personal story about concussions, now he is elaborating more on the issue of awareness.  I appreciate Jay’s work and urge others to follow in his footsteps.

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Beating your head against a wall while suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome is probably counter-productive, yet I seem to find myself doing it (figuratively) virtually every day. We live in an electronic world, and in my electronic travels, I frequently “run” into the very people who I’m trying to get my concussion message across to.  The results are typically frustrating and lead me to ask myself why I bother trying to warn people about the perils of concussion.

Searching Twitter with the hash tag ‘#concussion” will provide a comprehensive selection of Tweets that feature illuminating articles and studies about concussion. I find that it also directs me straight to a painful paradox: kids with concussions who’ve been kept home from school on Doctors’ orders in order to heal, yet who are blissfully Tweeting their health away, 140 characters at a time, with the rapidity of an automatic rifle. If I had a nickel for every time I saw something like “Ahhhhhhhh! Home from school. Hate #concussions !”, I’d have the market absolutely cornered when it came to nickels.

RED ALERT!!!!! (DOCTORS and PARENTS- This is where you come in.)

Kids with concussions are sent home because they need Continue reading

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