While doing this blog I get a ton of email with upcoming ideas and inventions for concussion issues. They range from the simple to the sublime and some are worth investigating. It has been our practice to not take a dime from anyone when writing about their product, and it should continue to be that way. Rather, I feel that introducing/presenting products or information should be useful for the general public to form their own opinion (as I share mine here). Hard data within A SOLID experiment is tough to discount, sure there are questions and will always be with anything, so with that in mind I like to present things I feel can be of benefit. A huge part of this is feedback, via this blog’s comment section or email or to the product itself.
With all of that in mind I was very interested to see things from GelCool Systems, as they have a product that makes logical sense for overheating, but it has added benefits, as you will see with their post. One thing this also takes into account, which I don’t think they thought of, was the expanding research in hypothermic treatment for concussions. So here is their own post about the product, please feel free to comment here.
The Human Head is Responsible for 60% of the Body’s Cooling and Warming
GelCool Systems Patent-Pending Professional-Grade Gel Packs align with the helmet’s existing anti-trauma pads, maintaining the helmet’s proper fit and alignment while providing significant cooling benefit. This cooling is graduated through a thermal distribution layer, so the athlete receives steady cooling over the entire cranium surface, avoiding the discomfort caused by a strong surge of cold temperature. GelCool Systems gel packs are designed to deliver cooling within a safe range of 42-60 degrees (F) for the majority of the cooling period, which avoids negative thermal issues such as vasoconstriction or ice burns. Field testing has shown average cooling periods of 20 minutes in over 95 degree ambient heat. GelCool gel packs are a single piece, pliable insert that is very easy to insert or remove from a helmet: There is nothing to fasten or attach. It takes about 2 seconds to insert a pack in a helmet – less to remove it.
GelCool Gel Packs Absorb Some of the Concussive Energy to the Head from Traumatic Blows, Based on Certified Laboratory Testing GelCool_Systems_-_R4151-A
They Are Also Fully Compliant with NOCSAE Testing Requirements in Riddell Football Helmets (Revolution and VSR-4)
Laboratory testing shows that the presence of our gel packs inside the helmet reduces trauma to the head in concussive blows: in other words, improved concussion protection. To ensure that our gel packs are safe in the upper helmet, we performed rigorous lab testing at SIRC, one of the nation’s leading helmet testing labs and a NOCSAE-approved lab. SIRC not only performed the required NOCSAE drop testing, but also advanced new rotational testing. The test data clearly showed that in terms of the helmet’s ability to absorb/dissipate the external forces exerted upon the head by heavy blows which might cause concussions, the presence of the GelCool gel pack in the helmet never made the helmet perform worse and in many cases allowed it to provide greater impact protection to the head by attenuating some of the impact force.
NOCSAE Certification Testing of the GelCool gel pack in the Riddell Revolution™ and Riddell VSR-4™ helmets was also completed with the official finding “compliant as tested”. The Riddell Revolution™ and VSR-4 helmets with the GelCool Systems gel pack passed NOCSAE directed drop testing performed by NOCSAE’s certified testing group,
There were no tests in which the use of the gel pack in the helmet caused the helmet to perform materially worse. GelCool Systems is prepared to release our testing data to any party that wishes to review it (and it is available for download on our website). Our data includes the results of a multitude of drop and rotational impact tests performed in a highly controlled, scientific lab which is approved by the major helmet manufacturers. The rotational tests struck the helmet from many different angles at very high velocity (hundreds of G’s). The presence of the GelCool gel pack in the helmet did not have a material adverse affect on the helmet performance in any of the tests. The NOCSAE-prescribed drop testing was performed using various drop heights and g-forces. The helmet also passed these tests with the GelCool gel pack in place.
SIRC is a leader in its field and comprises a group of very experienced scientists who are themselves leaders in the science of helmet safety. For more information about SIRC please visit http://www.soimpact.com.
Trauma protection and head/brain cooling are critical on the football field. And by maintaining lower cranial/brain blood temperatures, your athletes have greater endurance and mental sharpness in high heat environments. Long before an athlete collapses on the field, he may be significantly affected by heat stress. The first effects of the heat are not apparent, but can be devastating to your players and team. Impaired decision making and delayed physical response are common early effects of the heat and they are hard to detect until the symptoms have progressed to a dangerous level. By this time, treatment is far less effective. Cooling the head with GelCool Systems gel packs is only one part of an overall heat safety program which must include proper hydration and core body temperature management, but GelCool gel packs help directly cool the brain, our most sensitive organ.
Typically, players simply switch packs when they come off the field, but in the case of an extremely long drive, equipment managers can carry multiple packs to the field. Medical research shows that cooling the cranium (not the neck) is the single most effective way of lowering blood temperature in the brain and helping cool the entire body, since 60% of the heat our body releases is through the upper cranium portion of the head. The brain is far more sensitive to heat effects than any other organ. While GelCool systems are cooling, they are rapidly pulling heat away from the player by means of thermal induction. This is far more effective than the existing passive air cooling holes installed in football helmets. You may use your own coolers to cool the packs, or purchase a complete system from GelCool.