If you all recall I went to Zurich in November to attend the “Concussion Conference”; mainly as an observer, but there was enough time and opportunity to impart my questions/knowledge as a practicing athletic trainer. Here are the links to DAY 1 and DAY 2 of my live blogging. By the way, the live blogging was WELL received and continues to provide great insight into what went on. I hope that I am asked back for the next conference, or any other conference that wouldn’t mind my attendance.
Now the information gathered at the conference has been hashed and rehashed and now appears as the 4th Consensus Statement (tweeted previously).
As part of the initiative the Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) was looked at and changes were made to the 2nd version from 2008. You can now find the new version by clicking SCAT3.
A new wrinkle was an assessment tool for the younger ages, the group decided on the “Child” version of the new SCAT3, that can also be found by clicking Child SCAT3.
Also included in the addendum of the Consensus Statement was a recognition pocket card, found by clicking Recognition Pocket Card.
All of the above is free and intended to be used as a resource for better concussion assessment and even early management of concussion. Please read the Statement regarding best practices. As always this blog is NEVER to be used to diagnose or treat a concussion. There is a lot to be absorbed and read; one thing is for sure we as athletic trainers and concerned/educated individuals now have the most recent information at our fingertips. I guess this blog is actually doing some good work A side note; how about this appearing during National Athletic Trainers Month? It might be a coincidence, but I find it serendipitous.
I published this 10/22… Since there has been higher volume as of late, I feel it is a good time to repost. There is also another article by John Doherty that supplements this, HERE.
In findings released today in New Orleans it is becoming more clear that athletic trainers play a vital role in secondary level athletics. Using reports from 2006-2009 in various injury reporting systems there has been significant findings about injuries and concussions;
Overall injury rates were 1.73 times higher among soccer players and 1.22 times higher among basketball players in schools without athletic trainers. Recurrent injury rates were 5.7 times higher in soccer and 2.97 times higher in basketball in schools without athletic trainers. In contrast, concussion injury rates were 8.05 times higher in soccer and 4.5 times higher in basketball in schools with athletic trainers.
Not having an athletic trainer predisposes the athletes to greater risks, not from the usual sporting activity, but playing with injuries that can develop into greater problems. Athletic Trainers also have the educational background and grasp of prevention of injury; either through (but not limited to) nutrition/hydration or conditioning of the body.
Athletic Trainers are also on the forefront for concussion awareness, education and assessment, often the first allied health care professional to see the problem and identify it. As much as I hammer home Continue reading
Here at The Concussion Blog, we talk all things concussions. Concussions are brain injuries and they are definitely something we must continue to learn more about and continue to educate the youth and the parents. Dustin and I are both Certified Athletic Trainers at the high school level and I really believe that puts us on the “front lines” when it comes to concussions and concussion education. But I think something that gets lost in the whole concussion issue that a concussion is NOT a football problem; it is a SPORTS concern. This article will once again present another sport that brings its own risks of concussion and it needs to be brought forward once again. Cheerleading, girls basketball, and girls soccer are all prime examples of concussion sports that slide underneath many people’s radar. Continue reading
Since the tragic and untimely death of Junior Seau the concussion issue has begun to fester like a three-day old pimple on a 13 year-old’s greasy face. It is ready to pop and keeping up with all of the pertinent articles and “specials” has been very trying. In this post I will attempt to link up and highlight as many as I can (surely I will miss many, however Concerned Mom in the comment section will have more).
Lets begin with ESPN and the Outside the Lines week-long look at concussions. I have found this to be must see, my DVR is a testament to this; using previous stories and bringing in commentators on the subject have provided information and even fireworks. Yesterday Merril Hoge and Matt Chaney did just that – provide information and create fireworks. You can find the podcast here (panelists begin about 7:30 mark).
Hoge drew my ire earlier this week with his admonishing of Kurt Warner’s statement of being a father, however yesterday he did have a very valid point about the management of concussions. I have said is ad nausea here: the elephant in the room is the management of concussions, however Hoge sounded a bit “underconcerned” about the actual injury. Which is where Chaney had very valid points about the exposure of concussions to the youth. They are both right in my estimation; the management is the larger issue but we are seeing too many too young people being effected by concussions. There needs to be work in both areas and remember this is not just a football issue.
We have the duty to protect our kids and if that means flag football for 5-13 year-olds then I am cool with that. If we find after making such a drastic change that has not been enough then we can take it further if needed. I feel that a change like this will allow a few things: 1) more time to let the brain develop and thus allowing research to catch up to what we know. 2) employ more medical providers in a position to find, assess and manage concussions (see athletic trainers). And 3) begin a culture shift about the seriousness of concussions, after all this is a brain injury.
As Chaney later told me; Continue reading
Virginia Tech and Wake Forest researchers Ray W. Daniel, Steven Rowson, and Stefan M. Duma have published a new research article on impact telemetry on youth football players. The abstract is as follows;
The head impact exposure for athletes involved in football at the college and high school levels has been well documented; however, the head impact exposure of the youth population involved with football has yet to be investigated, despite its dramatically larger population. The objective of this study was to investigate the head impact exposure in youth football. Impacts were monitored using a custom 12 accelerometer array equipped inside the helmets of seven players aged 7–8 years old during each game and practice for an entire season. A total of 748 impacts were collected from the 7 participating players during the season, with an average of 107 impacts per player. Linear accelerations ranged from 10 to 100 g, and the rotational accelerations ranged from 52 to 7694 rad/s2. The majority of the high level impacts occurred during practices, with 29 of the 38 impacts above 40 g occurring in practices. Although less frequent, youth football can produce high head accelerations in the range of concussion causing impacts measured in adults. In order to minimize these most severe head impacts, youth football practices should be modified to eliminate high impact drills that do not replicate the game situations.
There are some very interesting findings in the abstract alone that need to be noted: Continue reading
The change for the NFL in searching for and making sure all players with concussion symptoms get checked out will make its debut this weekend. The addition of non-team paid (NFL) athletic trainers will help with game observation. The wide angle and TV in the booth should alleviate some of the issues of being preoccupied or blocked from the action.
The concussion observing athletic trainer will not have the authority to actually pull the players nor make any recommendations regarding evaluation. Rather they will be in communication with both teams to insure that Player X has been checked out. This process would be similar to the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS) being employed on college and high school fields. Instead of using a pager to notify the athletic trainer of an exceedingly high impact, the “independent” athletic trainer will call down to the sidelines.
Yesterday on the Baribeau & Scarbo Show I discussed how it may in fact go down. I was and still Continue reading
We have logged 21 different states putting forth legislation for head injuries in sports. The first one was in Washington with the passage of the Zachary Leystedt Law in 2009. Now the United States House of Representatives has put forth an effort to create a “minimum” standard for each state to follow. H.R. 469 was introduced in January of this year and has not garnered a lot of press, here are the highlights;
- School Sponsored Athletic Activity (all schools)
- Healthcare Professional includes athletic trainers
- A very well constructed definition of concussion
- Informed consent to parents, athletes, coaches, etc.
- Required assistance for students to return to academics
- Required posting of information regarding concussions in the schools
- Out a minimum of 24 hours and cannot RTP without written clearance from healthcare provider
- A report out to the Secretary of Education at end of year
We have reached out for comment from various sources and here is what some have to say. Continue reading
The American Academy of Neurology has defined a more comprehensive stance when dealing with concussions. The AAN released a position statement regarding the initial management of concussions, last November;
1. Any athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion should be removed from participation until he or she is evaluated by a physician with training in the evaluation and management of sports concussions.
2. No athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing concussion symptoms.
3. Following a concussion, a neurologist or physician with proper training should be consulted prior to clearing the athlete for return to participation.
4. A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion.
5. Education efforts should be maximized to improve the understanding of concussion by all athletes, parents, and coaches.
Neurology Now a publication for “healthy living for parents and their families” has published an article by Kate Gamble that takes a closer look at why the statement was made. With the back drop of new and expanding research along with stories like Tommy Mallon Gamble interviews the likes of Dr. Julian Bailes and Dr. Jeffery Kutcher to explain why we need to readjust the stigma of concussions; Continue reading