Concussion Management

6 Product Categories that Could Change the Game for Concussions

2017-05-24T15:09:29+00:00 March 31st, 2017|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  Since the 2015 release of the eye-opening movie Concussion, starring Will Smith, concussions have become a hot topic in the sports medicine and athletic training world, especially in the United States. More and more evidence has been presented to show the long term effects of concussions, including the reports on retired NFL players beginning to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Concussions are classified as a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an impact to the head. It’s estimated that there are between 1.7 and 3 million sports related concussion each year, and 300,000 of those are from playing football. 50% of concussions go unreported or undetected, which is concerning as TBI’s have the potential to cause long-term brain damage if left untreated. This lack of detection is inherently due to the subjective methods of reporting and evaluating head injuries. Scientists are developing a better understanding of concussions, allowing them to figure out new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat these head injuries. Oftentimes, these solutions are incredibly innovative pieces of technology. So what are some of the latest innovations in concussion prevention and diagnosis? We’ve combed the web and found 6 product categories that are undergoing a serious upgrade to reduce and prevent concussions. While we don’t officially endorse any, and recommend you always do your research, we want to share what we’ve found the most interesting!   1. Mouthguards Sports technology companies are now developing sensor-equipped mouthguards that can measure different aspects of impacts to the head. Your teeth are the hardest part of the body, which makes sensor-mouthguards a reliable way to measure the force of impact, the direction the blow came from, and the way the skull moved. These mouthguards are often associated with an app that sends a notification to the coach or trainer once a player has experienced a substantial blow that goes over the preset safety threshold. This allows the training team to take the necessary steps for concussion treatment as they have a complete overview of the cause and root of the issue. The data gathered by these mouthguards can prove to be very beneficial for athletic trainers to help them discover possible concussions that would otherwise be missed and to ensure athletes get the proper treatment.   2. Football Helmets and Caps Regular football helmets were designed to protect the head from skull fractures, and while they do a good job at that, they aren’t built to prevent concussions; until now! Some forward-thinking companies have designed helmet technology that can better absorb the shock of an impact and reduce the blow before it reaches the head. How are they able to do this? One way is with a soft-shell cover that is placed on top of a regular helmet, which according to one company can take off about 33% of the force of a hit. This substantial difference can prove to be the difference between athletes sustaining a concussion or simply a strong hit. As [...]

5 Alternative Concussion Recovery Tips You Probably Didn’t Know About

2017-05-24T15:09:36+00:00 March 13th, 2017|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  It’s no secret that concussions continue to be a hot topic across the globe, especially in North America. Whether you’ve suffered a concussion or know someone that had the misfortune of coping with its side effects, you are probably familiar with the traditional treatment prescription: rest, avoid electronic devices, limit physical activity, etc. But are there alternative tips for concussion recovery that you might want to explore?   With Concussion Awareness Month in full swing, we’ve searched the web and curated some of our favorite alternative concussion recovery tips: 1. Mother (nature) knows best Believe it or not, there are many natural remedies for concussion recovery that you can find at your local grocery store. Holistic experts cite many ingredients which they deem helpful for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) recovery: Load up on antioxidant-rich foods: Think green tea, blueberries and leafy green veggies. Bonus - those leafy greens are also packed full of folic acid and calcium, two more nutrients that help out with TBI recovery. Give trendy turmeric a try: Turmeric is the hottest superfood, with multiple health benefits. More generally, it’s known to reduce swelling and provide pain relief, which is just what your brain needs during concussion recovery. Fish for those omegas: Omega 3 fatty acids have long been proven to be good for brain function. You can find these in fish oil and in fish like sardines, mackerel and tuna. 2. Keep your hands busy One of the biggest challenges people cite while recovering from TBI is that they feel frustrated and bored, because they’re often told not to watch too much TV or use other electronic devices, and reading a book all day could prove too tiring. Those who have recovered from concussions often refer to alternative activities that helped them stay busy, such as knitting and cooking. These creative outlets require logical thinking and troubleshooting, putting the brain to good use without overly straining it. Of course, take it slow. And above all - don’t get frustrated! 3. Train your brain Although recovering from a concussion can be tiring and frustrating, it’s important to gently workout your brain as you would your body. In fact, it’s pretty well known that by regularly engaging in mental challenges, you will hold off mental decline. Puzzles, like color-based Sudokus stimulate memory building, without the numerical strain. You could also try Tetris if the screen isn’t too disruptive. Tetris players have been found to have thicker cerebral cortexes, so this is definitely a good brain tool! Finally, try your hand and pull out a simple card game like Go Fish or Old Maid. These are good for memory and numerical comprehension. 4. Make self-care a priority Overall, what’s going to make you heal is taking good care of yourself. It’s important while recovering from a concussion that you get plenty of rest, hydrate, and eat a nutritionally rich diet. But you probably already know this. However, change it up a bit. Make your self-care your central focus. [...]

Former NHL Players Launch Concussion Lawsuit

2017-05-24T13:03:13+00:00 November 27th, 2013|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  Earlier this week, former National Hockey League players launched a concussion class action lawsuit against the league, putting athlete concussion management back in the spotlight a mere three months after the National Football League’s $765 million concussion settlement. Ten former players are claiming that the league purposefully concealed information regarding the risks of traumatic brain injuries and in turn exposed the players to unnecessary dangers that could have been avoided with accurate information and appropriate preventative action. The lawsuit also claims that the league has created and fosters “a culture of violence.” The lawsuit is seeking damages and medical monitoring for the players’ brain trauma and injuries, though a proposed monetary amount has not yet been disclosed. The suit claims that: The NHL knew or should have known about scientific evidence that players who sustain repeated head injuries are at greater risk for illnesses and disabilities both during their hockey careers and later in life. Even after the NHL created a concussion program to study brain injuries affecting NHL players in 1997, the league took no action to reduce the number and severity of concussions during a study period from 1997 to 2004. "Plaintiffs relied on the NHL's silence to their detriment," the suit says. The league didn't do anything to protect players from unnecessary harm until 2010, when it made it a penalty to target a player's head. However the NHL is in an interesting spot in terms of some incontestable preventative and concussion assessment measures they've taken over the years. To add some perspective here, consider the following. In 1997, the NHL became the first league to form a concussion working group and the first to conduct to baselines for more accurate assessments. In 2011, they implemented a new protocol for concussion evaluations, requiring that players suspected to have suffered a concussion be examined in a quiet room by the team physician instead of on the bench. The NHL was met with resistance when they strongly recommended making helmet visors mandatory earlier this year by the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA), just as they were met with similar resistance over mandatory helmet use almost 35 years ago.While the suit only involves ten players right now, the number is likely to rise as it was filed on behalf of all players who retired on or before February 14, 2013 and who have suffered such injuries. The NFL lawsuit began with 75 players yet by the time a settlement was reached, more than 4,500 players were involved.Be sure to subscribe to our blog or follow us on twitter as we’ll be watching closely as this story develops!  Don't want to miss a blog post? To subscribe to our blog, please email us at info@presagiasports.com

SCAT2 to SCAT3: What’s Changed

2017-05-24T13:25:56+00:00 November 7th, 2013|Blog, Concussion Management|

  We added the SCAT2 to Presagia Sports almost a year ago and we were blown away by how well it’s been received and appreciated by our customers. Integrating the concussion assessment tool has meant that athletic trainers and other members of the medical team can easily evaluate athletes for concussions with a consistent and convenient tool. Accessible on smartphones and tablets, assessments can be conducted virtually anywhere and all concussion information is centrally stored within each athlete’s record for instant recall by authorized users when needed. When the original SCAT was first published in 2005 at the International Conference on Concussion in Sport, it was seen as an “initial mandate.” The SCAT2 was subsequently released in 2008. In 2013, the SCAT3 was published and we worked quickly to upgrade Presagia Sports to incorporate the changes. So what’s different in the SCAT3? Overall, the SCAT3 is very similar to the SCAT2, with some refinements. The sections are now in a different order, wording has been improved, and it now includes a neck examination, a modified balance examination and some background health questions the person conducting the assessment must ask the athlete. The overall SCAT score has been removed and the scoring summary has been modified to be more useful. The SCAT2 was designed to be used on children 10 years old and up but the SCAT3 is meant to be used on athletes 13 years and older. As such, the first SCAT intended specifically for young children was published in conjunction with the SCAT3 as the Child SCAT3. The SCAT3 is fully integrated within Presagia Sports and we've made a few enhancements of our own as well. Users can now indicate the reason for each assessment. The reason can be directly linked to an unresolved injury or users can enter their own text description. The built in timer used during the balance examination has also been updated with pause, resume and reset capabilities. Concussions can be extremely dangerous, especially because an athlete who has recently suffered a concussion has an increased susceptibility to another occurrence of brain injury. Therefore, careful assessment and monitoring is called for. While the SCAT3 is an easy to use tool, it was designed to be used by trained health professionals. If an athlete is suspected to have suffered a concussion, your safest move is to remove them from the game or practice and seek a medical evaluation. For more information about the SCAT3 and concussions, download our Keep Their Heads in the Game: Manage Concussion Assessments like a Pro with the SCAT3.   Don't want to miss a blog post? To subscribe to our blog, please email us at info@presagiasports.com

NFL and Players Reach Historic Agreement

2017-05-24T13:33:34+00:00 September 3rd, 2013|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  A proposed settlement between the National Football League and over 4,500 former players was reached late last week. The settlement of $765 million would cover all 18,000 former NFL players. Current players are not covered. The trial stemmed from players suffering from a variety of syndromes and diseases believed to have been caused by repeated blows to the head. They accused the league of withholding information regarding the severity and consequences of concussions. Ailments include, but are not limited to, dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. According to ESPN, the players had originally sought $2 billion. Many people – both those close to the case and those on the sidelines – believed the case would be dismissed and ultimately reach no settlement. While a settlement has been reached, the NFL has admitted to no wrongdoing. Largely in search of financial compensation to deal with healthcare costs, the $765 million would go towards medical benefits and injury compensation for the retired players. Under the agreement, the NFL must also contribute $10 million of that to medical and safety research and $75 million to medical exams. The cap would be $5 million per player under the following guidelines: $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease $4 million for those diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) $3 million for dementia Unlike Alzheimer’s and dementia can, CTE is a degenerative disease which can only be diagnosed after death. It is most commonly found in athletes who participate in contact sports and suffer repeated concussions with symptoms generally taking years, even decades, to appear. Including CTE on the list means that the widows and families of players like Seau Junior and Ray Easterling – two of the original plaintiffs of the “master complaint” against the NFL who both committed suicide within the last two years – are included. According to CBC, one rule change that will also take effect for the upcoming season prohibits players carrying the ball to use the crown of their helmet to make contact during an offensive play. To learn more about how Presagia has joined the fight to prevent concussions, download our whitepaper Keep Their Heads in the Game: Manage Concussion Assessments like a Pro with the SCAT3. We have also upgraded to the recently released SCAT3 concussion assessment tool, which will be available to all of our customers in the coming month. Read the official press release here.   Don't want to miss a blog post? To subscribe to our blog, please email us at info@presagiasports.com

What Is the SCAT2?

2017-05-24T14:24:27+00:00 March 22nd, 2013|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  In our earlier Concussions 101 post, we looked at what concussions are, how they’re caused, some of their symptoms, and briefly covered the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2). Not long after our summer 2012 launch of the mobile version of Presagia Sports, we added an integrated SCAT2 to enable our customers to leverage this widely used concussion assessment tool anywhere via their smartphone or tablet. Since then, our customers have benefited from being able to perform baseline assessments and evaluate their athletes for possible concussions when they occur, whether during a practice or at a game. Through our own research, we found the SCAT2 to be one of the most straight forward and accurate methods for assessing concussions, but what exactly is it? In 2008, at the Third International Conference on Concussion in Sport in Zurich, Switzerland, a group of experts published a concussion evaluation tool to implement a standardized assessment methodology, the SCAT2. It was an updated form of the original SCAT published in 2005 after the second conference held in Prague, Czech Republic. The intent of the SCAT, a two page assessment, was to create a standardized tool that could be used for patient education and physician assessments of sports-related concussions. Developed by combining eight different evaluation forms from varied international organizations, it was seen as an “initial mandate” by its authors. Just a few years later, the SCAT2 surpassed its predecessor. The SCAT2 consists of a series of questions and tests, each of which is scored. It includes a “how do you feel” questionnaire, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) response test, the Maddocks sideline questions, balance and coordination tests, as well as the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) which gauges orientation, memory and concentration. The individual scores are then combined to obtain a set of overall scores indicating the number and severity of symptoms. When the assessment is done on paper- usually lasting 15 to 20 minutes - the examiner must manually calculate the individual and overall scores. In the days or weeks following a serious concussion, repeated SCAT2 assessments may be conducted to measure the athlete’s progress of recovery. Since its publication, it has become accepted as the standard diagnosis for sports related concussions. The NFL (National Football League) has created a league specific adaptation of it and it is regularly used by the NHL (National Hockey League). In our next post, we’ll look at some of the specific benefits of integrating the SCAT2 within an Athlete Electronic Health Record (EHR) system and why we chose to do so in Presagia Sports. If you’d like more information about the SCAT2 in the meantime, download a free copy of our whitepaper Keep Their Heads in the Game: Manage Concussion Assessments like a Pro with the SCAT2. Don't want to miss a blog post? To subscribe to our blog, please email us at info@presagiasports.com

Concussions 101

2017-05-24T15:05:43+00:00 December 6th, 2012|All, Blog, Concussion Management|

  When more than 4,000 NFL football players speak up, the sports medicine world listens. Concussions have been thrust back into the limelight recently, largely due to the “master complaint” against the NFL for alleged negligence and withholding information on the severity of concussions. While football has one of the highest incident rates, concussions can affect athletes at all levels and in essentially any sport. When the Pittsburg Penguin’s captain Sidney Crosby received the infamous blow that kept him off the ice for the rest of the season, he was initially treated with the all too common “are you okay?” method, rather than being pulled from the game. A method to which most athletes, Crosby included, instinctually answer “yes.” Acting as a contributing factor to a third of all injury-related deaths in the U.S., over a million Americans are affected by concussions annually. In Canada, 456 people suffer from one every day. When you consider that research has suggested that 15 percent of those who suffer concussions experience long-term effects for up to two years afterwards, the amount of people in recovery from these types of brain injuries is significant. It should come as no surprise that athletes, athletic trainers, coaches, concerned parents and spouses have all taken note. While most people associate concussions with a loss of consciousness, only 10 percent actually cause a loss of consciousness. To make it even harder to judge when someone has suffered a concussion, some symptoms can have a delayed onset of up to 48 hours. So What is a Concussion? It is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a direct or indirect force, blow or jolt to the head, causing the brain to move violently. Depending on the severity, concussions can cause a dazed, hazy feeling or periods of unconsciousness. Most effects are temporary and can be mild enough that people don’t even realize they are concussed. Symptoms can include: Headache or nausea Unsteadiness Confusion or short-term memory loss Abnormal behavior Blurred vision or fatigue Those affected, or thought to be affected, should seek medical attention if any of their symptoms worsen or if any of the following occurs: Unconsciousness extends for more than two minutes Repeated vomiting Slurred speech Athlete is drowsy, can’t be woken up or can’t walk Confusion, irritability Seizures Weak or numb arms or legs Vision or eye disturbances occur, for example dilated or different sized pupils Education is one of the best preventions against concussions. When athletes are aware of the dangers of concussions and the importance of reporting them and when those evaluating possibly concussed athletes are doing so efficiently and consistently, everyone is better positioned to make the best possible decisions. There are tools available to assess concussions, the most widely recognized of which is the SCAT2, or Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2. In our next post we’ll overview what the SCAT2 is and how it works. If you’re looking for more information in the meantime, download our free whitepaper Keep Their [...]