Missouri House Moving Bill

The Missouri House of Representatives have passed a bill outlining concussion legislation, as reported by the Associated Press via the Daily Reporter;

he Missouri House has passed legislation requiring high school athletes to be removed from games if they appear to have a concussion or brain injury.

Players would have to remain out of competition at least 24 hours and get clearance from a licensed medical professional before they return to play.

The measure cleared the House on Thursday by a wide margin and goes now to the state Senate.

Sponsoring Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, a Lake St. Louis Republican, says the measure will protect students in sports like football from being sent back into games when they’re injured.

The legislation says volunteer medical professionals can’t be sued for their decision to let athletes compete again.

Once again an effort that is a GOOD START, and that is all.  The bill only outlines mechanisms for HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES only.  Again, what about the other sanctioned sports and the younger age groups?  Although the last line may be encouraging, the medical professional MUST use proper procedures, and could leave some questions about the overall responsibilities.

It seems as though I am talking at a wall when I say “look at Colorado’s legislation,” it is BY FAR the best current legislation; encompassing youth sports, and gives mechanisms for those that would see the athlete most often (see athletic trainer), to override the return to play decision.

Footy Concussions Round 3

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Herald Sun we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

Only three weeks in and the information about concussions is very limited.  Perhaps this sport does not lend itself to as many concussions as we previously thought?  (pure sarcasm)  I can tell you that the media does not seem as interested in finding the story, as compared to their North American counterparts.  They will however cover the stories of concussions as they come up or are blatantly obvious.

From abroad, with limited contacts, no resources in Australia and a time change that makes my head spin we do feel that The Concussion Blog is covering every single REPORTED concussion in the AFL.  What we cannot do; Continue reading

Bradshaw Speaks Up

It has not been easy for former players to discuss the issue of concussions and head injuries.  In fact, you rarely hear from the most prominent (analysts, talking heads, etc.), some of them you hear misinformation from, or lack of education on the matter (Mike Golic, Mark Schlereth, Hines Ward, etc.).  However recently one of the most well-known “talking heads” and former quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, is now revealing his current dealings with repeated head trauma.  In a report on CBSSports.com and Will Brinson, Bradshaw tells all;

The latest former player to speak out against long-term concussion symptoms is a big name: FOX Sports NFL pregame host Terry Bradshaw, who revealed on Tuesday that he’s suffering from short-term memory loss and the loss of hand-eye coordination as a result of brain injuries suffered when he was in the NFL.

Brinson did a wonderful job of tracking down the subtle hints that Bradshaw has been laying down; Continue reading

PBS Frontline: Football High

Just finished watching the Frontline TV magazine show from PBS about high school football.  Link to FULL VIDEO (53 minutes).  A very smart and “eye-opening” piece for those that do not know much about the inner workings of high school football.  The episode dealt with concussions, athletic training, and heat illness, all within the guidelines of winning at the high school level.  The information was nothing new to any of us that deal with ALL of those things as a professional.  What it showed everyone else is the “scary” side of this beloved sport.  However, a lot of these issues can be attenuated with an athletic trainer on the sidelines.

The focus was mainly on the unknown/unseen dangers of the sport we watch and in which we participate, starting with the reporting of the heat strokes of two Arkansas prep players, one of which succumbed to the injury.  They compared the two individuals in terms of immediate treatment for heat stroke.  One player was on a high school team that has an athletic trainer, and the other is not.  The outcomes were vastly different as the player who had an athletic trainer was evaluated and had managed care survived, and even played later in the season after three weeks in the hospital.  The other player, who did not have an athletic trainer, paid the ultimate price and was unable to survive the injury.

Continue reading

NBA Concussion Report #7

Our periodical report for The Association.

These do not occur as often as football and hockey for a couple of reasons, one; fewer players equals less incidence and two; the reporting of injuries is up to beat writers, as I have yet to find an official league injury page.  I will be using the standard CBSsports.com and ESPN for compiling this information.

A rarely reported injury in The Association, concussions, has become front and center today as Monta Ellis of Golden State has been added to the list of NBA’ers with the injury.  Here is the full list, if anyone knows of more send it our way;

  • Sasha Vuajcic, Lakers – 10/14/10
  • Carlos Delfino, Bucks – 11/29/10
  • Taj Gibson, Bulls – 12/20/10
  • Corey Maggette, Bucks – 12/20/10
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bucks – 1/1/11
  • Mike Miller, Heat – 2/11/11
  • Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks – 2/21/11
  • Vince Carter, Suns – 3/1/11
  • Damion James, Nets – 3/5/11
  • Anthony Morrow, Nets – 3/5/11
  • Chris Paul, Hornets – 3/6/11
  • Monta Ellis, Warriors – 4/10/11

We will update as warranted…

ThinkFirst and AANS in Denver; Recap

Heading into the travel and event I really did not know what to expect, the possibilities were pretty much endless.  The biggest fear I had was making a fool of myself, or my message being missed by the audience.  Knowing what ThinkFirst was all about those fears were minimal, and the opportunity to speak not only as an athletic trainer, but as a “VIP” was exciting.

I was following the keynote speaker on concussions for their conference, Don Gerber, Psy. D from Craig Hospital in Denver, I did not want to “re-lecture” on his material.  In fact his information was some of the best I have ever seen presented about the concussion injury and its management.  So concise and clear, yet had drops of biochemistry and advanced physiology, painting an entire picture of this injury.  What makes his material even more convincing to me is that he still currently plays competitive rugby, a collision sport.  Not only does he work in the area but he gets to see injuries first hand and understand the “athlete’s perspective” when dealing with the injury.  I even made mention to my wife that “I wished that his material was presented more frequently”; it can easily be consumed by the layman and the professional, and the information is clearly up-to-date.  After his presentation there were many questions for him, and EVERY SINGLE Continue reading

NHL Concussion Report: End of Regular Season (98)

Each week we scour the web to find concussions in the National Hockey League.  We will keep a running tally on that information as the season progresses.  However, it is not easy as the NHL has decided that listing injuries as “upper body” or “undisclosed” is a good indicator of actual injuries occurred.  Our list is believed to be as accurate as possible, even including injuries that have vague listings but through reports and video analysis should be classified as concussions.

This week has been extremely difficult to mine out any injury let alone a concussion.  Sixteen of the 30 teams will be playing more games, high intensity games, winner moves on games; letting an opponent know about an injury would weaken them.  Meh!  That is ridiculous, how about the NHL players start respecting one another out there, it is 2011 not 1975.

Add to that, not listing head injuries is doing a disservice to the league, the players and its fans; knowing the extent of the concussion issue should be a priority.  Without a beginning how will anyone know if there is improvement?

Now with that rant out-of-the-way we can present to you 98 listed or very suspicious listings dealing with the head/concussion.  There are about 5 others that remain a mystery from earlier in the season and plenty of “undisclosed” injuries appearing this week as well.

The new additions to the list this week are; Continue reading

Off To Speak (UPDATE)

UPDATE (Sunday):  What a wonderful day, some GREAT people have some great information to share, I hope to bring you a recap tomorrow before or after travel…


Today I am traveling back home, well my former home, Denver for a speaking engagement.  The event is the national ThinkFirst annual meeting, and I will be on a panel discussing concussions.  I feel very honored to be speaking to a distinguished audience and hope that I have something to offer all of them.

After the speaking engagement I have been invited to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeon’s opening gala for their annual meeting, also in Denver.  This will be exciting to be mingling amongst people 7,000 times smarter than I; maybe I can get smarter by osmosis?  hahaha

I will be taking notes and attempt to give a recap next week.  If anyone that reads this is going to be in attendance, drop me an email and we can converse.  My panel discussion begins at 9:45am on Sunday.

File This Under: Bad Idea

NBC Washington is reporting that three high school football players were hurt during a “combine” like event.  The injury, wait for it, CONCUSSIONS; one with a skull fracture, Joseph Cammarata a lawyer representing the players;

“Each of those children suffered a concussion — a brain injury. One of the children had his skull fractured and was bleeding on the brain. Another child has no real recollection of what went on that day.”

What is more, is that NONE of the participants were in protective gear and were TOLD to take a run at one another, creating a collision.  For those three this resulted in concussions;

“They were sent on a collision course, unknown to them,” Cammarata said. “The coaches blew their whistle, told them to run toward each other, and when they got to the middle of the field, they collided with each other.”

Obviously Cammarata is citing lack of supervision and negligence, making the case for knowingly putting the students at risk.  The camp organizer has responded;

Wayne Yarborough, the organizer of the event, said parents knew what was going on at the training camp and knew there was a risk of injury. Parents signed waivers and released the camp and its organizers of liability.

Uh, I don’t know what to say other than this was a terrible idea.  (Thanks to J. Nash for passing this along)


Escobar First MLB 7-Day’er?

Yunel Escobar (Toronto Blue Jays) could become the first player to placed on the 7-day concussion DL that MLB instituted just prior to the season.  Slam Sports has all the info and a GREAT picture of the actual injury.

“He smoked me,” LaRoche told reporters, of the collision. “I was going to be real surprised if he didn’t (come out of the game). I didn’t know where in the head it got him.”

Replays showed Escobar’s helmet smashing into LaRoche’s right knee; the collision wrenching his neck at an odd angle. A club trainer stayed with him overnight, wakening him every two hours to check his condition.

Yes most of us would be puzzled as to why he was allowed to continue?  Add to that the constant awakening of him, puzzling?  The current management would indicate that a concussion (a closed brain injury with NO bleeding) should be allowed to rest, including uninterrupted sleep.  Never the less, all eyes will be on how the Jays handle this, and being in Toronto, he is in good hands.

@Stephania_ESPN is confirming the concussion of Escobar, however the Jays ARE NOT putting him on the 7-day DL.

Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar has concussion. First under new MLB policy. Not going on 7-day DL. Will need clearance from league to return.


Footy Concussion Report Round 2

The Concussion Blog has decided to take up another project, tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Herald Sun we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

After the second round there has been a noticeable interest in the concussion issue, from the media/broadcasters, to the print journalists, to even the players.  The stigma has reared its ugly head in a national broadcast, as Jack Riewoldt was very upset after being subbed out.  A day later Riewoldt conceded that the decision to remove him was the correct move.  Also in footy news; Daniel Bell opened up about his battle with symptoms related to post concussion syndrome and Daniel Gilmore is set to bring a negligence case against his former club and the AFL.

With all of this newly found awareness one would think Continue reading

Ohio Concussion Legislation On The Way

@PirateATC is at it again with a post about his home state and the legislation ready to be passed.  On his blog he summarizes the bill and its impact on the community in which he works.  I must say he is a very proactive athletic trainer being on the cutting edge and out in front of issues is the best practice for any profession, particularity with concussions.

The basics of the bill were described by Hollie Kozak, President of the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association;

“As currently drafted, the legislation requires both school sponsored sports and “youth sports organizations” to adhere to the following requirements:

1.)     Requires students to submit a form signed by their parent stating that the parent and the student have received concussion and head injury information sheet

2.)     All coaches must hold a pupil activity permit (PAP) for coaching interscholastic athletics, and requires the (PAP) to develop additional training program specifically focused on brain trauma and brain injury management

3.)     A coach shall remove from practice or competition a student suspected of having Continue reading

Parents In Action

Gil and Michelle Trenum of Prince William County, Virginia have taken what was the most horrible day in their life and are doing something about it.  After Michelle so genuinely shared her story about her son, Austin — here exclusively with The Concussion Blog — her and her husband refused to believe something could not be done about it.  The Trenum’s have put forth a tremendous effort in connecting with some very “stout” individuals in the concussion research and management area.  It was not to find out why this happened so much, as it has been an effort to not let this happen again, to any parent or any kid.

Joe Conroy of InsideNova.com reported on a recent school board meeting, where Gil Trenum is a board representative, at this meeting was Dr. Gereld Gioia, cheif of the Division of Pediatric Neurosugery at Children’s Medical Center in Washington D.C.;

“A lot of people are asking ‘Why now? What’s so special about these times?’” said Gioia, who was invited by Brentsville District School BoardrepresentativeGil Trenum. “We have a perfect storm coming together in the sense that we better understand the brain, we have the resources at our disposal now that we can be informed about this injury, concussions, which are really a type of mild traumatic brain injury.

“There aren’t more concussions than years ago, but we have more knowledge about them and their symptoms,” Gioia said.

In the article is the issue that I have been trying to make more and more of, removal from school and cognitive activities.  However, this time it is Dr. Gioia explaining Continue reading

WrestleMania Chair Shot Follow Up

HHH and Undertaker both have been fined by the WWE for the chair shot during the event, as we posted from Irv Muchnick Monday.  Muchnick followed up his reporting with today’s post indicating the fine and statement from Vince McMahon.

Muchnick will continue to follow this story be sure to check back at his blog for more information.

New Research About Brain Remodeling

New research to be published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests that the brain does in fact remodel itself after brain trauma, however it is impaired by multiple head traumas.  According to a press release the study was done on mice comparing a control group to mice that has simulated brain trauma with impaired or no ability for the hippocampus to created neurons from stem cells, essentially brains that have been traumatized multiple times.

“We have discovered that neural stem cells in the brain’s memory area become activated by injury and remodel the area with newly generated nerve cells,” Dr. Kernie said. “We also found that the activation of these stem cells is required for recovery.”…

“This suggests that injured mice who lack new nerve cells fail to progress to a more efficient spatial strategy to find the hidden platform. We interpret this result as a mild but statistically significant learning deficit,” he said.

The hippocampus portion of the brain is responsible for memory, Continue reading

AAN: “A New Game Plan for Concussion”

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

Golic Out Of Touch (rare for him)

Well that is an opinon, I rather like Mike Golic about most things.  However, we differ on this; why is presenting a learning tool in a video game a ‘bad idea’?

Perhaps when that small percentage of kids playing the game lose their star in the video game for a concussion they may realize that this injury is serious.  I am willing to bet heavily on the fact that those gamers know that when a player in the video game sustains an ACL tear he will not be back in the game for some time.  It is time to change the stigma of concussions, if it takes unconventional methods, like using Madden as a vehicle, then so be it.

Marquette Soccer Player Has To Give Up Soccer

Shannon Walsh has posted a two-part story about Marquette soccer player Scott Miller and his decision to forgo his senior season due to concussions.  The stories have been posted on TopDrawerSoccer.com (LINK to Part I) and are very informative, well worth your time.  Here are some excerpts;

In April 2010, Miller collided with a goalkeeper against Northern Illinois(m), leaving him with a broken nose and concussion. Though Miller experienced symptoms of the concussion, he decided not to tell the team medical staff or coaches, and was cleared to play ten days later against Milwaukee(m) in the Wisconsin Cup.

“That was the biggest mistake of my career at Marquette,” Miller said of his decision to play against UWM. “I told the team doctor and coaches that I felt normal and would be ready to play. Going into the game against UWM, I did not feel well but decided to play. It was one decision that if I had done differently probably would have saved my career.”

Underlining the need for awareness and education, Miller exemplifies exactly the stigma associated with concussions.  In retrospect Continue reading

Irv Muchnick: WWE Rinstitues Chair Shots

Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist writing focusing mainly on the WWE, writing a book titled “Chris and Nancy: The true story of the Benoit murder-suicide and pro wrestling’s cocktail of death.“  Muchnick has been heavily involved in the concussion issue as it relates to WWE and its crossover as well.  Some have claimed that Muchnick may be pressing an issue that is not there, but he has had the ability to delve into certain areas of the concussion issue others have failed to get to.  He has provided some good contacts as well as information in his own unique way.

In his most recent post he looks into the chair shots the WWE, through the voice of Vince McMahon, was banning;

Paul Levesque — the wrestler known as “Triple H,” who is slated to take over top management of World Wrestling Entertainment when his in-laws, Vince and Linda McMahon, leave the scene — hit his opponent Mark “Undertaker” Calloway with a chair to the head last night at WrestleMania in Atlanta.

But weren’t chair shots to the head banned in WWE? That’s what Vince McMahon said in 2007 after the double murder/suicide of star wrestler Chris Benoit — even if McMahon didn’t get around to promulgating it as company policy until his wife was running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate last year.

Granted the WWE is not as mainstream as football, baseball, basketball or hockey; head trauma in this HIGHLY ATHLETIC entertainment business is an issue.  There is a “crossover” if you will between the WWE and the NFL, that Muchnick highlights as well.

A Case of Negligence?

The first publicized legal action against a professional league with regards to negligence when returning a player to the field.  Granted the judicial system in the AFL has no bearing on the US system, this will be an interesting case to keep an eye on.

Daniel Gilmore, who played for Fremantle in the Australian Football League in 2004-2009 is now bringing forward a case against the AFL and his former club for alleged “fit to play” designation after a head injury.

Delisted ruckman Daniel Gilmore, 28, will allege he was incorrectly passed fit to play by club doctors after a heavy hit in 2008.

Gilmore has since endured migraines, dizzy spells and lethargy. He was cut at the end of the 2009 season.

The Gilmore case may have greater ramifications than that of former Melbourne defender Daniel Bell, who is seeking compensation over concussion injuries, but is not claiming negligence or malpractice by his club.

Gilmore’s claim will be heard by the AFL Grievance Tribunal.


NHL Concussion Report 4.4.11

Each week we scour the web to find concussions in the National Hockey League.  We will keep a running tally on that information as the season progresses.  However, it is not easy as the NHL has decided that listing injuries as “upper body” or “undisclosed” is a good indicator of actual injuries occurred.  Our list is believed to be as accurate as possible, even including injuries that have vague listings but through reports and video analysis should be classified as concussions.

As suspected the actual listing of any injury, let alone a concussion, is becoming more and more shrouded in secrecy.  As the playoffs near not one team wants to give and advantage to an opponent.  And apparently they don’t want us to know the “real” numbers with concussions.

Never-the-less, the National Hockey League has now reached the number; 93 in terms of head/concussion injuries.  Why is this number significant?  It was the previous high for reported concussions set last season, prior to that each season was averaging low 70’s.  With generally three games remaining until post season there is a pretty good chance that number will climb.

Here are the new additions to the list; Continue reading

Jack Riewoldt, Richmond Tigers

Jack Riewoldt was the most recent concussion issue in footy.  As Friday Night football (AFL Style) happened tonight–yesterday in Melbourne.  Riewoldt was extremely woozy upon leaving the field, and after the evaluation and an actual time period of about 20 minutes he was not allowed to return, and he was not happy about it.  We must give credit to the medico’s (as the call them down under) for this decision.

In this recap you can see the Riewoldt injury again at mark 0:46, Continue reading