Limiting Head Trauma is Logical

The research is starting to come in; the problem is that results and conclusions bring more questions that should be answered.  Naturally some will look at early evidence and make a 180 degree change on their attitudes about certain things.  We are talking about concussions and the research associated with it.  Unfortunately there is plenty of anecdotal and observational cases that sear into our memory, this perhaps shape our thought process.  Along with that there is gathering evidence that supports some sort of process change in how we handle this particular injury.

The need to make change is upon us, that cannot be debated; what can be debated is how or what the changes should be.  I recently read an article where Micky Collins of UPMC said something to the effect of current concussion concern is like a pendulum that has swung all the way to the other side.  Although the changes in sports and activities has certainly not taken that full swing the other way, the pendulum is on the way.  His feelings, like mine is that there is no evidence to suggest that a full swing to the other side is warranted, rather there needs to be competent and complete understanding of what we are facing.  Rather than making full sweeping changes that would be akin to digging up your backyard to rid your self of a mole; when placing traps and poisons and maybe only having to dig up a small section would fix the problem.

There are definitely things we can do as parents, players, coaches, researchers, doctors and concerned people in general to make a dent in the issue.  If we find that the changes are not working then taking another aggressive step may be necessary.  I guess the reason for the above rant is to reinforce the need for changes, but the right changes.  (As I wrote the last sentence I realized how do we know if the changes are the “right” ones; I guess we don’t but certainly what is happening now needs attention).

One of the small changes that can be made is very obvious to me; Continue reading

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Concussion Now Worthy of Purple Heart

And it is about DANG time the military came around on this.  I say military but really the Army is taking the lead as they have recently reviewed their designations for the Purple Heart, and concussions will now be considered for the honor.  There is hope that the other branches will follow suit and make concussions worthy of a Purple Heart.

It wasn’t like the Army did this on their own, it took pressure from the civilian sector, namely the NPR;

In response to the ProPublica/NPR reporting, which showed that Army commanders denied some soldiers the Purple Heart even after they suffered documented concussions, the Army’s Chiarelli called for a review of the guidelines. On Wednesday, he announced clarified rules, including a checklist of valid treatments (bed rest and Tylenol among them), that will make it easier for war veterans to receive the Purple Heart after sustaining concussions.

I must say this is great news, because by making this distinction more awareness will be given to “closed head trauma” and making the ‘invisible’ injury more visible to everyone.  And I echo the sentiments Continue reading