August 21, 2014 7:30 pm

Concussion protocols examined in sports

Ashley Carter/Global News

WINNIPEG – Athlete safety concerns highlighted after a study finds concussion protocols are missing in some sports.

The Canadian Concussion Collaborative released new steps they would like to see put in place to ensure athlete safety including concussion education, prevention, treatment, and return to action.

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But some kids will be kids, regardless of the ramifications. “I’m gonna keep playing, not going to be careful, I’m just going to play, and until I get injured then I get injured, it’s part of the game,” said hockey player Riley Wirgau.

Some protocols are already in place at Hockey Manitoba and Football Manitoba but the paper states only 41% of leagues have concussion management protocol.

“In football no more helmet to helmet contact, no more tackling with the helmet, no more hits on a defenseless receiver. Those are the things you need to prevent injures and concussions,” said Shawn Coates of Football Manitoba.

And Hockey Manitoba has an app that coaches and children can use outlining their six step protocol for return to play.

“First one would be rest, and then light exercise after that, and would progress after that where you would return to play, practicing, body contact, full game participation, but without the approval of a physician you wouldn’t be eligible to play,” said Peter Woods of Hockey Manitoba.

Like from Dr. Michael Ellis who sees about 50 children a week with concussions.

“We know of some of the research that has been done at Pan Am, about 50% of kids report having concussion related symptoms during the course of the year of playing hockey and so it’s hard to say if those are concussions or not but it’s obvious it’s an unmet need,” said Dr. Michael Ellis, director of Pan Am Concussion Program.

The world class Pan Am Concussion Program is set to open in a couple of weeks at the MTS Iceplex.



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