Doctor Suggests Headguards Add to the Concussion Problem, Not Solve It

Before you go out and lay down all that money for headguard or other protective equipment, like liners, that are supposed to shield athletes from concussions, you may want to consider an article that ran this month in the Telegraph in the UK.

The article quoted Dr. Mike Loosemore, the doctor for the British boxing team and a leading member of the medical team at the London Olympics, that Headguards contribute to the concussion problem, not lessen it.

“Look at the NFL, where the risk of brain injury is extremely high despite the helmets that they wear,” he told the newspaper.

He continued, noting that Headguards give “an illusion of safety. If you think you are protected by a headguard, you are more likely to put your head where it shouldn’t be.”

Elaborating, he told the Telegraph that the NFL has “weaponised the helmet and it is routinely used as part of the ‘hit.’”

For the full article, visit:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/news/11150094/Headguards-in-rugby-would-add-to-the-concussion-problem-not-solve-it-says-doctor.html 1/3

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Too Many Men on the Field?

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article written by Contributing Writer Margaret Kelly that appeared in the October issue of Concussion  Litigation Reporter. If interested in getting the details and reading the whole story, please subscribe to CLR)

With settlements from its concussion-related lawsuits topping $70 million by July, this was not a great summer for the NCAA’s bottom-line, not to mention its public image. And the fall may be no better. A former college linebacker recently filed suit against his old school, the NCAA, and a host of other co-defendants for their allegedly egregious mismanagement of a serious concussion he suffered on the field at the start of his freshman season. His lawsuit prays for a judgment totaling $5 million in damages.

The initial injury around which the lawsuit revolves occurred on opening day in September, 2012, during his first game as a college player. It is uncontested that in the fourth quarter of that game, he suffered a concussion after a direct blow to the head. Though coaches and staff failed to identify the concussion in the aftermath of the hit, his parents brought him to the hospital shortly after the game, where he was diagnosed.

In the main, the lawsuit alleges that following his injury, he did not receive the post-concussion testing and care mandated by international best practices, the NCAA, or even the school’s own policies and procedures. In short, the lawsuit alleges that he was cleared to return to the field long before his concussion had resolved. He played eight more games, as linebacker, that season. As an allegedly direct and foreseeable result of this premature return to play, he suffered additional concussive/sub-concussive hits while his brain was still healing, causing persistent and now permanent brain injury.

The 38-page Complaint sets out the alleged consequences of his injuries in painstaking detail.  According to his lawsuit, he has been deeply affected physically, cognitively and emotionally. He suffers from balance trouble, crippling headaches, persistent numbness in his body and chronic difficulties sleeping; he has trouble focusing and struggles with impaired memory; he experienced and continues to experience unexplained anger, along with acute bouts of depression and anxiety. Not surprisingly, he was forced to quit college football and in 2013, withdrew from the school altogether … .

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Coach Appears to Blame Media for ‘Lingering’ Concussion

Marvin Lewis has been in the NFL for  decades, or more than enough time to witness the concussion issue move to the front burner. So when the Cincinnati Bengals head football coach was asked in a press conference earlier this week about the well being of Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who suffered a concussion in each of the first two weeks of the season, he didn’t mince words.

“Well, he had a concussion against Atlanta. That’s that biggest concern that way,” Lewis said. “You don’t want him to have, you know, but again I coached defenses and linebackers for a long time and concussions didn’t linger. Now we have found that because of the media and things they seem to linger longer. There’s a lot of attention paid to it. I don’t know why they linger longer. I don’t remember them lingering like they do now.”

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