Posts Tagged ‘Injury’

New concussion test detects specific symptoms

Hope for faster recovery times

Some athletes bounce back after a mild concussion. Others take months. That’s because there are six different kinds of concussion, each identifiable by symptoms exhibited by the concussed patient: balance issues, migraine headaches, vision problems, cervical Concussion diagnosis(neck) problems and mood and anxiety.

A new test that detects concussion symptoms that current tests can miss has been developed by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center researchers. The test focuses on the vestibular ocular system, where vision, movement and balance coincide. The vestibular ocular system, located in the inner ear, is what helps the eyes stay focused on a target when the head moves about.

What researchers observed

The symptoms exhibited in the worst concussions are dizziness, vision issues and fogginess, according to Michael Collins, director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. These symptoms are frequently missed in the tests currently used to diagnose concussions.

Vestibular/ocular motor screening (VOMS) was 90 percent accurate in identifying patients with a concussion, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine article. Diagnosing a concussion is fairly simple, but the VOMS test diagnoses the exactly type of concussion.

There are five specific areas VOMS assesses: eyes following a moving object, rapid eye movement, stabilization of images while head is in motion, dizziness, and the points where eyes can hold together without double vision. It only takes a few minutes to administer the test and the only tools needed are a metronome and tape measure. Results are based on the immediate responses of participants when asked about their symptoms after focusing on an object or moving their head back and forth quickly.

Improvements in treatment

Research participants consisted of concussed patients five days after their original injury. The VOMS test picked up impairments in 60% of the participants that could have been easily missed using current diagnostic procedures.

Adding VOMS to the other tests used to determine neurocognitive deficiencies could mean a significant change in both diagnosing and treating concussions, said Collins. Immediately identifying vestibular and ocular concussions could decrease significantly how long it takes to treat them.

For more information on long-term recovery concussions please read “Skip practice, and the books, following a concussion.” 

Source: Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11 Oct. 2014




The Dangers of Cheerleading

Lack of safety standards needs attention

I recently came across a news release from the national media on cheer injuries.  In addition to the usual horror stories, it included the following points of interest:

  • Over the pasta 26 years, 73 cases of catastrophic cheerleading injuries in the U.S. have been traced by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at UNC.  These included fractured skulls or broken necks that led to permanent disabilities and two deaths.
  • According to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 30,000 cheerleaders are treated in emergency rooms nationCheer Stuntawide each year.
  • Emergency room visits from cheerleaders have tripled since the mid-80’s when cheerleading turned competitive and incorporated high risk gymnastics stunts. Cheerleading popularity and participation also increased during  this time.
  • High risk stunts such as basket tosses, pyramids, and certain tumbling runs top the list for injuries, which are frequently executed on gymnasium floors, grass, and dirt with nothing separating the cheerleader from the hard surfaces.
  • High school cheer is not considered an official sport in most states.  Therefore, cheer doesn’t necessitate the same limits on practice time, safety equipment, or training for coaches that are essential for other high school sports.
  • The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) requires cheer coaches to be certified in 13 states.  Certification often only requires an online test for coaches, which offers no training in spotting techniques or gymnastics.  And only about a dozen states regulate cheer by the rules that are set by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
  •  NFHS  offers an online cheer coach certification course comparable to the AACCA course.  Yet, each state will determine if the coach is required to take the certification course.
  • In 2010, AACCA  introduced its first set of rules, which bans double twisting dismounts and basket tosses.  However, that rule only applies to the youngest cheerleaders who are on either the elementary, middle or junior high teams.
  • Susan Loomis, the NFHS rulebook editor for spirit teams comments that there is no acting ‘cheer police’ at the high school level.  She herself does not know what the repercussions would be if someone did not follow or broke a rule.

Source:  MSNBC 

Shockstrip External Helmet Pads

Product intended to reduce micro traumatic brain injuries and concussions

Check out for complete information on this new product, including the testing results, coach, player, and parent testimonials, and information on concussions.  Test results include adhesive compatibility, friction coefficient analysis, drop testing, and linear impact testing.

Shockstrip is one of many newly-introduced products that claim to reduce impact forces helmet-to-helmet contact that will reduce the chance of micro traumatic brain injury and concussion.

Shockstrip may void the helmet manufacturer’s warranty but they are offering their own warranty in it’s place.


Parties settle wrongful death lawsuit

No acknowledgement of liability in death of Kentucky high school football player

The wrongful death lawsuit for 15-year-old Max Gilpin has been settled for $1.75 million. Gilpin collapsed at Pleasure Ridge High School in August of 2008 and died three days later.

After Max’s death, his parents sued head coach Jason Stinson and five of his assistants for negligence.

The settlement, which has been confirmed to the Courier-Journal by attorneys from both sides, states that there is no acknowledgment of liability by the defendants.

Source: Insurance Journal 

UGA Athlete Settles Insurance Dispute

Cornerback blames incomplete paperwork

Former cornerback Decory Bryant finally reached a settlement of $400,000 with the University of Georgia Athletic Association. UGA athlete settles injury caseA neck injury ended Bryant’s career in 2003.  The settlement was reached after an Athens-Clarke County judge dismissed the lawsuit that claimed the association failed to secure Bryant a $500,000 athlete disability insurance policy that would have paid him in the event he suffered a career-ending injury.

Ed Tolley, the association’s attorney, noted that the settlement was a sign that the athletic association was always committed to helping Bryant.

However, Bryant claimed that an official of the school failed to complete the paperwork for the $500,000 policy.