Posts Tagged: concussion

Webinar on Concussions

September 18, 2012

Bob Liebau
Associate Director of Campus Recreation
University of Mary Washington

A recent article in September issue of Athletic Business entitled MAKING HEADLINES — THE CONCUSSIONS EPIDEMIC RETURNS TO A FAMILIAR THEME: HELMET SAFETY, author Michael Popke points out some recent changes to the game of football based on our new understanding of the seriousness of concussions. Pop Warner Football now bans head-to-head hits. A new high school and college rule requires any player losing his helmet on the field of play to leave the field for one play before returning. And it’s not just football. We are beginning to see more headgear worn by soccer players. More than 20 NFL and NHL have added Kevlar gear to their equipment and at least two dozen pros are using Concussion Reducing Technology (CRT) pads to their helmets.

Why? In the hope that such measures will make sport safer for all participants regardless of the level of play. But despite the best efforts, the reality is that concussions can happen to any person, at any time, in any sport. Are you prepared for that? How are you going to deal with concussions that happen in your Sport Clubs or Intramural programs?

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Eagle C.A.R.E. — A Sport Club Concussion Management Program: Part 1

March 27, 2012

Bob Liebau
Associate Director of Campus Recreation
University of Mary Washington

Editor’s Note: In this two part series, the Eagle C.A.R.E Concussion Management Program is divided into two parts (a) Education and Baseline Testing and (b) Concussion Management & Assessment and Post Concussion Treatment Plan.

Concussions awareness has increased astronomically in recent years; professional ice hockey players and football players have become highly visible icons for the need for better understanding of the injury, management of the injury, and guideline for return-to-play decisions. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Athletic Trainers Association and other professional and medical organizations have established guidelines for concussion management. Concussions can be serious and potentially life threatening injuries. Research agrees that these injuries can have serious consequences later in life if not managed properly at the time of the initial injury. However, before going any further, it is important to understand what a concussion is.

A concussion is also referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The injury is caused by when there is a direct or indirect physical insult to the brain. As a result, impairment of mental functions such as memory, balance and equilibrium, and vision may occur. It is important to understand that many sport-related concussions do not result in a loss of consciousness. This predicates that all suspected head injuries must be taken seriously.

The Department of Campus Recreation at the University of Mary Washington realized a record number of reported concussions and one death (not a UMW student-athlete) during the 2010-11 academic years. This emphasized the importance of having an appropriate concussion management program to safeguard the well-being of all student-athletes participating in Sport Club Programs. The result is the Department of Campus Recreation’s Eagle CARE Concussion Management Program. The program was developed in collaboration with Mary Washington Healthcare/Mary Washington Hospital and its Neuroscience Center for Excellence.

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Eagle C.A.R.E. — A Sport Club Concussion Management Program: Part 2

March 22, 2012

Bob Liebau
Associate Director of Campus Recreation
University of Mary Washington

Editor’s Note: This article is part two in a series documenting the Eagle C.A.R.E Concussion Management Program. Part 1 focused on the ‘Education and Baseline Testing’ part of the program. The current article deals with’ Concussion Management & Assessment’ and the ‘Post Concussion Treatment Plan’.

Concussion Management and Assessment
The summary items for this component are:

  1. Student-athlete is immediately removed from play
  2. Sport Club first responder or coach will provide sideline assessment following Pocket SCAT2 guidelines (http://www.irbplayerwelfare.com/pdfs/Pocket_SCAT2_EN.pdf). This pocket assessment tool provides a step-by-step process for identifying a concussion. It is endorsed by FIFA, IIHF, IOC, and the IRB.
  3. A student-athlete that looses consciousness or whose condition worsens will immediately be transported to Mary Washington Hospital by ambulance/rescue squad
  4. A student-athlete who is conscious but has exhibited signs and/or symptoms of a concussion is to be referred to Mary Washington Hospital for evaluation
  5. Student-athlete will notify physician upon arrival of ImPACT data availability

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Getting Ahead of Head Injuries in Sports and Recreation

May 12, 2011

Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC

On March 18, 2009, headlines all over the world announced that actress Natasha Richardson died from a head injury she sustained from a fall on a Quebec ski slope. An autopsy revealed that she sustained an epidural hematoma, causing bleeding between the skull and the brain’s covering. Such bleeding from a skull fracture may quickly produce a blood clot which puts pressure on the brain, forcing the brain downward. This impacts the brain stem that controls vital functions, including breathing. Logically, if all of that is happening it should be obvious and immediate medical attention would be sought. That is not the case. It is common for people that suffer head injuries to feel fine initially as it takes some time before symptoms emerge. Dr. Keith Siller of New York University Langone Medical Center, when interviewed in relation to this tragedy explained that, “This is a very treatable condition if you’re aware of what the problem is and the patient is quickly transferred to a hospital.”

The news coverage about Natasha Richardson, generally reported that she was a beginning skier who declined to wear a helmet for her ski lesson. She felt fine after her fall and turned an ambulance away at approximately 1:00pm. She later developed a headache and medics returned at approximately 3:00pm. As her condition deteriorated, she was driven from a local hospital to a Montreal hospital, not arriving until approximately 7:00pm. There were no medivac helicopters or airplanes available.

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