When you get hit like that theres nothing you can do, theres no way you can protect yourself - Sidney CrosbyWhen will he return? Well, that's a pretty good question. And the answer is....drum-roll please.... No-one-knows-for-sure! Enter the world of concussions. A true grey area for our grey matter. For this month's e-news, Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers's blogger and law clerk, Melanie Luxenberg has written a feature article about Concussions, mild brain injuries and sports. Click here to read May's e-news. With hockey's big superstar sitting out, concussions have received a lot of well-deserved attention. People all over are now realizing that: CONCUSSIONS ARE A BIG DEAL. Regardless of whether you are a sports hero, or involved in a car accident. Medical professionals have to understand the need for a concussion protocol and follow up. Recently, Charles Gluckstein was interviewed for an article featured in the Law Times, and he had this to say:
"Only major hospitals do CAT scans and order brain injury follow up with the family watching for symptoms. Small hospitals just write down concussion, and that's a maybe... If hockey is our No. 1 passion, it is in jeopardy and in danger of losing its top star, it may improve research funding. Studies may give more information to medicine about diagnosis and also about treatment. That will help advocates to get better treatment for their clients and better insurance coverage."Things you need to know:
- A concussion can be caused by direct or indirect blows, or a hit to the head, violent shaking of the head, or force from a whiplash type injury.
- With a concussion, there is usually no visible injury to the structure of the brain.
- Therefore, the results of MRI tests or CT scans usually appear normal.
- Symptoms may take up to 24 hours to appear!
- Neck Pain
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Blurred Vision/Sensitivity to Light/Noise
- Confusion/Trouble Concentrating
- Possible Loss of Consciousness
Scientists are investigating the long term effects of repeated concussions on the brain:What physicians and medical specialist also have to consider, is treatment of concussions. It is just as important to treat concussions as it is to prevent them. Dr. Donna Ouchterlony, Director of the Head Injury Clinic at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto appreciates the seriousness of concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries. She has conducted much research on the subject. In her practice, her focus is on the four major components of a mild brain injury: 1. Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV), also known as dizziness; 2. Headaches; 3. Fatigue; 4. Cognitive Problems. She cannot stress enough the importance of treated BPV early. Other members of the clinic include Dr. Cheryl Masanic and Dr. John Rutka. She recommends early intervention and treatment for all sufferers of concussions. The Head Injury Clinic also can send patients for sleep studies to handle the issue of fatigue.
- There is evidence that multiple concussions (even 2-3) can have a cumulative impact and affect attention and processing speed;
- There is a relationship between repeated concussions and depression;
- Studies on the brains of Reggie Fleming and Bob Probert, both former NHLers showed that both men suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a condition referred to as being "punch-drunk";
- CTE has symptoms that are similar to Alzheimer's and is a progressive degenerative disease, which can only be diagnosed after death.
If people who have suffered head injuries from car accidents could receive treatment within the first three to six months, they would benefit immensely. - Dr. Donna OuchterlonyThe rise of awareness regarding concussions and sports has helped to bring the dangers of concussions to the fore. Now we must work to bring the importance of adequate treatment and research to the fore. The brain gives us the power to think, and helps us with our regulatory functions. Why mishandle it???