I was forwarded this information from a very astute and prominent concussion researcher for my take and information. The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine published an article regarding the under-reporting of concussions. The authors are: Greenwald, Richard M. PhD; Chu, Jeffrey J. MS; Beckwith, Jonathan G. MS; Crisco, Joseph J. PhD.
It is important to note that the authors (as it is disclosed) have an interest in the Head Impact Telemetry System created by Simbex and limited currently to Riddell helmets. With that out-of-the-way the article exposes the bigger problem with concussions with competitive athlete; the subjective nature of the injury and the self-reporting;
We typically cannot “see” a brain injury, and even with increased public and medical awareness about the serious nature of any brain injury, a “warrior mentality” inspires many athletes to continue to play. Contemporary, more stringent guidelines proscribing a same-day return to play may actually fuel underreporting of symptoms by some athletes. It is therefore critical that improved techniques for identifying athletes at increased risk of developing brain injury be implemented at all levels of play.
Prevention of brain injury should be a priority. Athletes in contact sports are exposed to head impacts, the incidence of which can be mitigated to some degree by rules, education, and equipment. Head impacts will, however, continue to occur in sport. We propose the widespread monitoring of head impact exposure (eg, number, severity, location, and cumulative effect of impacts) at all levels of football, and other sports where practical, as a method of providing objective feedback to medical personnel regarding the head impact exposure an athlete experiences during practices and games, thus potentially enhancing the identification of brain injury by reducing the underreporting of events and symptoms by athletes who may be disposed to conceal the same from coaches and medical personnel.
Obviously there will be a massive limiting factor in cost for small schools and the youth sports, but if there needs to be actual monitoring to identify the true issue and find all the injuries; if you don’t have the money then maybe you shouldn’t be playing the sport?
Granted the idea of objective measures appeals to all involved but FIRST you must have someone there to know what to do once the system of choice (BTW there is a market for this) identifies a potential injury. This is where the Certified Athletic Trainer comes in. Before dumping money in systems, tools, and other things for concussions the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY is to get an athletic trainer on the sidelines. This not only helps the coaches with concussions but with all injuries. Not only that the athletic trainer is educated in PREVENTION of injuries.
The article later goes on to support the thought of the SLI Hit Count, which is an obvious evolution of concussion information. If teams cannot get proper monitoring for this and ALL INJURIES, then perhaps tackle football, rugby, lacrosse, all collision sports should not be played, for the safety of the athlete… Often a STUDENT-ATHLETE.