Category Archives: Hockey
Hackney Publications is celebrating five years of publishing Concussion Litigation Reporter by making the May 2017 issue available to all at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/concussion-litigation-reporter/concussion-litigation-reporter-sample/
“This issue is emblematic of how the industry around legal and risk management issues associated with sports concussions is intensifying,” said Editor Holt Hackney (hhackney(at)hackneypublications.com). “We have some terrific guest authors as well as a selection of copy generated by our team at Hackney Publications.”
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Concussion Litigation Reporter — May 2017
May 2017, Vol. 5, No. 11
Timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions—articles that benefit practicing attorneys who may be pursuing a claim or defending a client.
- Are State High School Athletic Association Policies Effective for Concussion Management?
- The NFL Concussion Case Shows Lawyers at Their Worst
- Pennsylvania Court rules, ‘The NCAA is the Supreme Regulatory Body in College Athletics’ and that It Must Face a Trial
- Court Cuts NCAA, Patriot League Loose From Concussion Case, Leaves University, Government on the Hook
- Ahead of the Game: Brain Injuries in Sport
- Another Sports Concussion Suit: NHL Enforcer Sues Various NHL Teams and Insurer
- As the Sport of Lacrosse Continues to Grow, have some of the Sports’ Leading Equipment Manufacturers Misrepresented the Safety of their Equipment?
- California Supreme Court Declines to Make Exception for ‘Double Concussion’ Case
- Court Deals Blow to NHLPA and NHL in Wideman Case
- Analyzing the International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport
- Mother Frets Over Risk of Another Concussion After Coaches Threw Baseballs at Players
An estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 75 percent of the injuries are sports-related mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions.
While this issue is being recognized at the professional and elite levels, many youth and collegiate athletic programs across the U.S. lack the adequate medical personnel, specifically concussion specialists, to handle these injuries on the sidelines in real time.
Doctors at Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with the Northern Arizona University football team, conducted a study, Feasibility and Accuracy of Teleconcussion for Acute Evaluation of Suspected Concussion, which was recently published in the journal Neurology. The study, funded by Mayo Clinic, focuses on concussion specialists using telemedicine technology to determine if a player needs to be removed from play in real time.
“Telemedicine has been shown to be a safe and effective means to evaluate and treat numerous acute neurologic conditions, including stroke,” says Amaal Starling, M.D., neurologist and concussion expert at Mayo Clinic. “Now, doctors are starting to explore using telemedicine to manage concussions.”
Dr. Starling and Bert Vargas, M.D., director of the concussion program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, evaluated 11 consecutive male collegiate football players who suffered from a suspected concussion over two football seasons. All athletes received face-to-face baseline examination scores, including a symptom severity checklist, Standardized Assessment of Concussion, King-Devick test, and modified Balance Error Scoring System.
In total, 123 athletes were enrolled in the study, 50 of whom participated through two seasons.
During two football seasons, athletes with suspected concussions were evaluated in person by Northern Arizona University medical personnel and certified athletic trainers. Simultaneously, Dr. Vargas or Dr. Starling would perform a concussion examination via a telemedicine robot.
“During the remote examination, we had the ability to ask additional questions and repeat any portion of the physical evaluation,” says Dr. Vargas. “The decision as to whether or not the athlete should be removed from play was made by both the athletic trainer and neurologist.”
Both physicians had high agreement with the evaluation scoring and 100 percent agreement of the most important decision — removal from play. This suggests neurologists may be able to use telemedicine to manage concussions, make removal from play decisions, and close the gaps in medical care by providing all collegiate and youth athletes similar concussion care as professional athletes receive.
(Editor’s Note: What follows is original reporting in Concussion Litigation Reporter from Eugene Egdorf of Shrader & Associates. To read the full article, please subscribe at https://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)
On March 7, 2017, Harvard Law School held its annual Sports Symposium. This year’s topic was entitled “Legal & Ethical Issues Affecting NFL Player Safety.” The event included the most well- speakers known on this topic – folks such as Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu, co-founders of Concussion Legacy Foundation; Keynote Speaker DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, and Michael McCann, University of New Hampshire Law Professor and writer for Sports Illustrated.
While the title of the event emphasized the NFL, the real highlight was the panel discussion pertaining to the NCAA, which included the NCAA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Oliver Luck.
The discussion of the science on concussions and head trauma was led by Dr. Cantu with additional data provided by Chris Nowinski. Several significant points were brought out:
- Contrary to the operating myth from the NCAA and NFL, concerns over head trauma, concussions, and what we now know as CTE did not become known in the late 2000’s, but rather in the 1930’s, with articles and concerns for “punch-drunk football players” – just like boxers.
- The CTE problem is far more pervasive and the future far darker than folks want to admit. Boston University researchers have thus far examined 151 brains of former college football players, and have found CTE in 138, or 91 percent. While thus far no longitudinal studies have been done, it appears that if anything CTE and its symptoms are UNDERREPORTED. And every head trauma adds to the risk – as Dr. Cantu said ” the best analogy to CTE is cigarette smoking.”
- Science does not yet know what exposure levels are necessary to cause CTE. Onset appears to vary. But it has been found in teens. There seems to be little doubt that CTE can arise in anyone that has head trauma, and more hits makes it more likely CTE will develop.
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