Comprehensive NHL Concussion Study


A research study was released yesterday from the University of Calgary that took a look at reporting concussions.  This study was also helped along by the NHL, so we must acknowledge that, from The Globe and Mail;

One in five National Hockey League players who sustained a concussion during a shift in the regular season went back on the ice that same game, a study by the league and players association has found.

It also showed a significant number of those players who returned to the ice ended up missing more than 10 days of play afterwards because of concussion symptoms, which include headache, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

The results of the study were very obvious and dramatic and really highlighted the under-reporting that plagues all sports.  With this information we will now be able to point specifically at the data and tell those involved that not reporting what is going on will cost you more time.  The information is empirically nothing new for those of us that deal with concussions on a daily basis; the information itself is new, it is hard data for the first time.  For athletes, coaches and parents that need “medical data” to justify decisions, now practitioners have this data.

The biggest piece of information that I could find was this part in the G&M article;

Of the players that were evaluated but continued to play, 14 per cent missed more than 10 days. Among those that weren’t evaluated, that number was 27 per cent.

27% of those that did not report symptoms in the same game ended up missing more than 10 days.  NOT REPORTING the injury gives an athlete a 27% chance of missing more time than reporting.  Even if you report the injury and get evaluated and return to the ice (which should NEVER happen in adolescent sports) the chance of missing significant time was 14%.  Two-thirds of those concussed in the study missed less than 10 days, however if a player was concussed a second time, the time missed was greatly increased.

Current data up and through 2011 is being evaluated and will be released “quickly” according to the research group.  It would be interesting to compare notes on concussions this past year.

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A follow-up to Raffi Torres, that should be filed under; you can’t be serious…  No suspension for the hit on Seabrook in the VAN/CHI Game 3.  I am sick of ranting on the NHL, but it makes ZERO sense, especially with a repeat offender, and one that seems not to respect other players on the ice.

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One thought on “Comprehensive NHL Concussion Study

  1. Paul LaDuke, ATC April 19, 2011 / 11:33

    This study seems to really underscore the importance of proper management of the first concussion! It also highlights the importance of the player being honest with themselves.

    Once you have a concussive episode in the field of play, would you rather suck it up and finish the game knowing you will probably miss the next several? Or would you rather be honest with yourself, notify the athletic trainer, be held out the rest of the game and be able to get back to play much quicker? Pretty obvious choice to choose the latter in my book.

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