Livestream Event on Concussions

Part of understanding concussions is weeding through all the hyperbole and finding the common threads of the issue and then digging deeper.  Of course you will eventually come up with your own opinion and how you choose to understand concussions becomes subjective, like that of the injury.  Over the past six years of my borderline obsession of concussion education I have listened and read MANY different takes on concussions, and to this day I still do.  Although my grasp on concussions is fairly firm, I am not naive enough to close my mind to more information and possible change in opinion.

Coming up on Thursday, August 1st, SportsUnlimited.com (looks like a sporting goods website/store) will be hosting a livestream event on football concussions with the intent to educate the audience;

Concussions in football and other sports have received much national attention in recent years because of their prevalence in the sport, misunderstanding of the medical condition, and concern for youth and adult players’ potential brain injuries. The reasons for the attention are valid and through this SportsU LiveStream, we aim to bring more knowledge to you about the issue, allowing us to better understand concussions and how we can use current technology, techniques, and tests to play a safer game.

The host/moderator of the event will be Mr. Lou Rusnock and he will open the floor to questions for their guests for the event: Dr. Russell H. Amundson, MD a neurosurgeon at Einstein Medical Philadelphia and Robert Erb, Presidnet/CEO of Schutt Sports.

I do not see a pre-registration for the event and you can go to THIS LINK at 4pm Eastern time on 8-1-13 to watch/take part.

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Old Coach Point of View

What I believe was at the same conference as the previous video by Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher; former coach Lloyd Carr speaks about concussions;

Coach Carr was the head football coach at the University of Michigan from 1995 – 2007, it is worth listening to this perspective.  Although coaches can be to blame for much of the “complaining” when it comes to the necessary changes in any sport as it relates to concussion, their input is very worthy.

We can sit in our offices and come up with “dream” ideas, but these are the men/women that must implement all the “bright” ideas.  There is something to be said for those that have “been-there-done-that”, so as long as it is both constructive and respectful.  I believe that Coach Carr did a good job of this.

A quick side note; this was in 2011 and he spoke of leading with the head, now the NCAA and NFL will possibly eject players for leading with the crown of the helmet (a very hot debate, and will be once the season begins).

Schutt Puts Technology to Work on Helmet Label

Schutt Helmets out of Litchfield, Illinois has taken the warning label to new levels.  You know, those tags that seem to be in the way when we buy something new – often discarded as quickly as possible;

The new Schutt warning label will feature a permanent, interactive graphic called a QR Code, which can be scanned by any mobile device. Scanning the new Schutt warning label will launch CDC’s new “Heads Up” concussion app, making it very easy for millions of football players, fans, coaches and parents to get the information they’re looking for.

“There is no organization in the country that is more highly recognized for their unbiased and objective work on concussions than CDC,” said Robert Erb, CEO of Schutt Sports. “By using this QR Code on our warning label, we’ll make the very best information from the very best source available immediately – and permanently – on our helmets. We briefly thought about just using a simple hangtag, but we know very few actually get read. Most are thrown away. We wanted to do something more useful than that and really produce something positive in the marketplace.”

Players, coaches and parents can read the new warning label – which has the same text as before – but can now also scan the QR Code, which will launch the “Heads Up” app on their mobile device or make it easy for the user to download the app.

I do applaud the effort to educate in the easiest possible way, as well as use of the CDC.  When people start to take the time to truly understand about concussions (and all the equipment involved in any sport) we will begin to see a paradigm shift.

You can view the images below and read the full press release;  Continue reading

Kutcher Concussion Talk 2011

Here is a video from YouTube of Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher titled “How to Minimize Concussion Damage”

Dr. Kutcher, M.D., is director of the Michigan NeuroSport Program. He spoke at Play Smart: Injury Prevention on and off the Field, a 2011 National Public Health Week “Live Injury Free” event at University of Michigan School of Public Health. His topic was TBIs–Traumatic Brain Injuries (concussions) among young athletes.

Virginia Tech Responds to NOCSAE Press Release

Yesterday we posted the NOCSAE statement regarding the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, as with most things in life this is only one side of the story.  NOCSAE is doing what they feel is in their best interest; likewise the rating system and its researchers – namely Stefan Duma – are doing what they thing is good work.

Fortunately for everyone out there this blog reaches far and wide and provides an outlet for openness and comments from all that choose to do so.  As I have stated many times I try to bring a balanced source for information regarding concussions.  With that being said, Stefan Duma reached out to us to clear up some of the information from NOCSAE, from his and the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.  Below is the email I received from Stefan;  Continue reading

Speaking of Helmets, NOCSAE Press Release

I was forwarded this NOCSAE press release from a very prominent AT in the NCAA, and although the sender declined to comment, it was his intention to get mine.  I feel it would be good to comment and publish this press release here.  You can find the press release, dated July 3, 2013 HERE.

The purpose of the information provided by NOCSAE was to clear up some perceived and often misunderstandings about the Virgina Tech Helmet Ratings for football helmets.  Like NOCASE, I encourage the research into helmets, the first line of defense against blunt force trauma to the head in collision sports (rodeo included).  However, there are some things that may need explaining.

Now by no means am I taking sides here, I feel Stefan Duma and his cohorts do a tremendous job, as well as the current helmet makers.  I feel that everyone is doing their part to provide Continue reading

Helmets Aren’t the Answer

So says a group of researchers from Wisconsin.  After gathering data on over 1300 football players the overall theme was that there was no correlation between expensive helmets and reduction of concussion incidence.  On first inspection the design of the study looks sound, especially since high school athletic trainers were involved, and the results appeared to be sound according to Timothy McGuine;

“We found the actual incidence of concussion was not more for players wearing the newest helmets versus wearing helmets 3, 4 or 5 years old,” McGuine said. “We also looked at [concussion] severity by helmet model. No difference there, either.”

This finding is absolutely logical based upon today’s helmet technology.  McGuine is correct the exterior shell has achieved its goal to a tune of 99.9999% – prevention of skull fractures – however, the issue of concussions is really something a helmet was/is not designed to combat.

Think about this; the brain rests within fluid inside your skull, the primary protection for our brain, thus allowing our “noodle” to move “freely” for everyday tasks like walking, running, jumping.  In fact, it is an amazing process Continue reading