USA Football Concussion Education

USA Football has put together a series of concussion education videos.  They can be found on YouTube but here are all five of them;

5 thoughts on “USA Football Concussion Education

  1. joe bloggs June 27, 2012 / 14:04

    I have no idea who at CDC approved these videos but there are some issues that should have been caught.

    Video 1 – Dr. Herring needs to adjust his statement that a concussion is a software problem not a hardware problem. It is unclear what he means in a computing context but I suspect he is implying there is no physical damage to the brain because imaging methods cannot detect it. It is probably beyond current instrumentality but the likelihood is that the changes are small and the subject functionally recovers. He is jumping to a conclusion based on a outmoded view of science.

    Video 3 – Helmets do not prevent concussions (period); helmets prevent skull fractures. There is no known technology that has been validated that prevents concussions (CDC needs to clean this up).

    Video 5 – Could the CDC define medical providers capable of determining the condition of a subject. I know a handful of doctors capable of doing such work.

    Finally, Fink and Hopper since concussions can also involve neck injuries, what is the protocol for checking such injuries and removing the helmets.

    On balance not bad but incomplete and at some points misleading.

  2. Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP, Licensed Psychologist June 27, 2012 / 22:41

    I concur with Joe on his significant concerns.

    Would also appreciate comments be made ONLY to the content of the videos and not on other unrelated research…

    From my perspective these videos are far from educational…and I think an argument may be made for being both mis-educational and at times, ‘clearly vague’.

    Some “Interesting” comments found in the videos:

    1- … a concussion is not a structure problem…

    based on what evidence ?…it is clear over time that “concussion tests” are not necessarily sensitive to concussion effects. Thus the need and value of brain autopsies.

    A concussion is a ‘software’…not a ‘hardware’ problem…what are the operational definitions of these 2 terms?

    2- It is important that coaches ‘monitor’ all players… how ? when the coaches are calling plays…?

    Please define: ‘monitor’,
    who performs the monitoring,
    and specific procedure for monitoring

    3- “SOME symptoms of a concussion follow:”

    My hunch is that many persons will not catch / notice the term ‘SOME’ and believe that the symptoms lists are inclusive of ALL the symptoms of a concussion.

    4- “If you suspect — then remove from play…”

    If you really suspect a concussion…remove means remove from play for a thorough assessment over time…not just keep out for a sideline assessment for determining RTP…concussion symptoms may take several days to emerge… so why the rush to judgment to RTP in the same game?

    5- Wear helmets they are not 100% effective re preventing concussions–YIKES !!!

    and double YIKES…have we moved back to the dark ages where growing longer hair was thought to assist in preventing concussions?

    Ditto what Joe shared re the purpose of helmets…that they do not prevent concussions…as the brain will bounce / ricochet within the skull…

    • A Concerned Mom June 29, 2012 / 09:01

      Thought you might be interesting in what Chris Nowinski of SLI is currently saying about youth football:

      “Youth football has more to do, he said. He wants tackle football banned for kids. Their necks and bodies typically aren’t developed enough for their large heads, which take too many blows during the course of a game.

      The idea of only allowing flag football for kids younger than 14 got the panel members’ endorsement, though Nowinski pressed for greater protections for all players, especially those younger than 18.

      “It’s not anti-football. It’s pro-children,” Nowinski said.

      Technology has arrived that lets parents use their smartphones to determine how many head hits their kids have experienced in practice and games, he said. Parents and coaches must use those tools to their advantage, he said.”

    • A Concerned Mom June 28, 2012 / 10:23

      I linked the Shelton Pop Warner picture just to remind people how young some of these “youth athletes” are – in many cases we’re really talking about children, and the need to protect them from excessive head trauma.

      I’ll leave the debate about the USA Football videos to those better qualified to comment on them (like Joe Bloggs and Dr. Brady). I will say, however, that as a parent, I believe some of the educational materials provided to parents downplay the actual risk of a first concussion as well as sub concussive hits.

      So much media coverage focuses on ImPACT tests and the purchase of new helmets, as if they are the easy fix for the problem of youth sports concussions.

      I would like to see a greater emphasis on the need to reduce head impacts in all youth sports. We need to do more than recognize concussions when they happen and people need to be real about the ability of volunteer coaches to catch concussions in young children. Much of what I’ve read seems to indicate that young children often have delayed symptoms, so none may be evident at practice or on the sidelines. (I’ve read and watched everything I could find about concussions, yet recognize I wouldn’t be able to catch any but the most obvious ones.)

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