2012 Footy Concussion Report #1

There may not be any posts about Australian Rules Football concussions to this point but we have been watching.  As you have seen in previous days the press in Australia is starting to report more and more the issues with concussions, something that was absent the past few years.  As it stands now the AFL has 21 listed concussions, up from 11 this time last year.

Heading into this expansion season I was looking forward to the better reporting of concussions in the AFL.  Last year the league and press drew harsh criticism from me for what I believed to be intentionally hiding the injury.  Heck the ‘Super Footy’ section of the press stopped reporting ALL injuries for a four-week period as I was posting the injuries, and when it returned it was EXTREMELY rare to find anyone listed as a concussion so we turned to another website called Sportal.  As the season progressed we found more concussions and by the end of the season last year we had our first picture of footy concussions over a season.  Looking back one of the primary problems discovered and remedied by seasons end was the high number of facial fractures that seemed to be overriding a concussion, hence the need for Fink’s Rule.

It is now 2012, with the heightened awareness there is hope that a “truer” picture of AFL concussions can be taken…  Continue reading

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Concussion Hard Limits?

If you have read Fifty Shades of Grey you know what a hard limit is (yes I will freely admit I have read the series after my wife brought it home) and there is at lease one respected doc Down Under that has proposed such a limit to footballers.  Quick reminder we are talking Australian Football, however this could be extrapolated across all sports.  However there is danger is such hard limits, as we will discuss later.

From ABC news in Australia, Jeffery Rosenfeld the director of neurosurgery at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne feels that three concussions over a life-time in football should disqualify you from competitive and full contact forms of the game;

“I personally would say three significant concussions, three strikes and you’re out. I would be a bit wary of that player going back,” he said.

“They can still play sport but perhaps not the rough and tumble and risk associated with the tackling in a contact sport like football.” Continue reading

More Education Needed Down Under

If you have followed our attempts at charting the Australian Rules Football concussions you have noticed my overt tone of frustration.  I have even proposed a “cover up”; that may be way more conspiracy than truth.  I do believe that I have found out a reason as to why we are not seeing more concussions in Australia in all sports, lack of knowledge.

In a Sydney Morning Herald story today about a rugby player there are some very SCARY things the doctors are presenting down under;

Doctors have cleared Berrick Barnes of concussion from last Saturday, instead diagnosing him with a less serious condition called footballer’s migraine, which might also explain some of his previous head injuries that have been put down to concussion.

Waratahs team doctor Sharron Flahive said that Barnes sustained a minor knock to the back of the head while playing against the Lions, suffered a delayed reaction of dizziness, and then had such a heavy loss of memory that he could not remember what year it was, which week of the season he was in, or if he had played for the Waratahs last year.

We are going to take this piece by piece; dizziness and loss of memory are obvious signs of abnormal brain function and should have classified this player with a concussion.  But in Australia they are classifying head injuries as “footballer’s migraine” (by the way FM is a term from research in 1972, 40-year-old information), wait until you see what else the Dr.’s are saying. Continue reading