Noteable Retirement in Rugby

News of a significant retirement in the sport of rugby (Union or League) rarely makes the press in America, however the first I have found attributed to concussions made its way stateside, via Chicago Tribune and Reuters;

Former England back-rower Michael Lipman has quit the Melbourne Rebels after suffering severe headaches and “haziness” following a concussion during the Super Rugby season.

Lipman had informed his team mates this week, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper reported, but the decision had been brewing for some time, a Melbourne Rebels spokesman said on Wednesday.[…]

“The bottom line is that throughout my career I’ve had so many bangs to the head and I’ve had so much concussion … the last couple have been the icing on the cake,” Lipman told The Age.

“I’ve just had too many. Enough’s enough and when you’re body’s talking to you like it is now, you’ve got to listen to it and be sensible Continue reading

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Doubts About Concussion “Products”

Julie Deardorff or Chicago Tribune posted a story about how products within the concussion realm have some doubts cast upon them.  From the helmets – to the mouthpieces – to the supplements – to the tests; Deardorff takes a health angle on them;

s concerns mount over the dangers of concussions, especially in youngsters whose brains are still developing, so does the demand for products that purport to help diagnose the mild traumatic brain injury, reduce the risks or prevent it from happening altogether.

But although the harm from head injuries is increasingly well-documented by science, the validity of such claims so far is not.

One of the most telling portions of the story is from Elizabeth Pieroth;

“Regardless of what tool you use, good concussion management is about educating parents and families about how to manage injury,” said Pieroth, who works with Northwestern University athletes and is the concussion specialist for the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Fire and White Sox.

“You don’t need to be so fearful that you put your kid’s head in bubble wrap,” she said. “It’s just like any other injury — you need to understand when enough is enough. If your child had three ACL surgeries, he’d likely be done with the sport. Parents need to make the same decisions about concussions.”

This should be the take home message here; concussions will happen, how it is managed is the bigger and broader issue.  There is currently (and none on the horizon) not a “magic bullet” for diagnosis or management.  The key, from the CDC is “When in doubt sit them out.”