More Touchbacks = Less Concussions, NFL Reports

The co-chair of NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee, Hunt Batjer, reported yesterday in Chicago that concussions dropped 50 percent on kickoffs as compared to previous years.  Speaking at a forum about NFL health and safety Batjer confirmed what we had said with our observational data;

“We just got the data recently, it looks to me like a decreased number of runbacks played a role. It did not affect a lot of the other injuries paradoxically.”

In this article by Brad Biggs there is also a good sub-story about Hunter Hillenmeyer and his dealings Continue reading

Video Link

Searching the web I found this press release about a video produced by the College of American Pathologists;

Information provided by the College of American Pathologists

Former NFL player Hunter Hillenmeyer, whose career ended early due to concussions, knows firsthand that better helmets don’t always protect players from serious injury. Helmets have been shown to reduce the incidence of skull fracture, but not injury to the brain itself. That’s why Hillenmeyer is joining pathologists to educate parents, coaches, and young players about the dangers of concussions potentially leading to the brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Hillenmeyer credits pathologists, the physicians who first diagnose CTE in football players, with performing medical research targeted to prevent future cases in today’s youth. Continue reading

Free Concussion Symposium UPDATE

Northwestern University is hosting a FREE concussion symposium to bring anyone that chooses to attend up to speed on concussion issues, particularly in the state of Illinois.  This even is co-sponsored by the Illinois High School Association.  Registration is necessary for this event.  I received an email from Megan McCann;

I wanted to give you the heads up about an upcoming symposium at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago which will aim to educate coaches, trainers, athletic directors and youth sports volunteers on the importance of concussion awareness. The free event will be held on Wednesday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hunt Batjer, MD, chair of neurological surgery at Northwestern, is also the chair of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee. He will be among the panelists speaking on the topic of concussions.

You can get further information by CLICKING HERE.  The event culminates with a keynote luncheon (Mike Ditka is original headliner), as stated above registration is needed to attend, but it is free.  Go to the link above to get all set up.  Even though this is in my “backyard” unfortunately work conflicts will not allow me to attend, I would appreciate anyone that goes to send us the Cliff’s Notes version.

UPDATE 7/15/11 9:52am: Mike Ditka will be unavailable for the event, they are currently looking for a replacement and will announce ASAP.

Hunter Hillenmeyer Thoughts

The Chicago Bear linebacker that was put on the injured reserve after one game this season due to a concussion and its lingering symptoms, has some interesting thoughts about the changes the NFL has made the past few days.

Judging intent is a very tricky thing to do. Punishing players for anything but the most egregious, deliberate headhunting would not make the game safer. Reaching that goal requires a comprehensive overhaul, including improvements in health care, equipment and research, not just a reaction to the gasp-inducing hits on Sunday.

The above quote is his last and should be the most poignant.  But one thing no one can take away from the NFL is the fact that they address the issues, as quickly as possible.

Article from USAToday.

Hunter Hillenmeyer is on many committees for the NFL, one of which is the Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the NFLPA.