Category Archives: Other Sports

Wyoming High School Activities Association Provides Concussion Insurance for Wyoming Students

Every high school and middle school student participating in a Wyoming High School Activities Association (WHSAA) sponsored activity will now be covered by concussion insurance in 2017.

Specifically, the WHSAA purchased a policy for all of its student participants, approximately 25,000 annually, providing them with “zero out-of-pocket costs should they suffer a head injury,” according to the association. Wyoming is the 5th state to provide this coverage for all student participants.

“The WHSAA is pleased to be able to offer this protection for all of our students involved in activity programs,” Commissioner Ron Laird said. “This policy coverage will assist families should their student need to visit a medical professional due to a concussion. With the money we have received through our agreement with the NFHS Network, we have been able to create a revenue stream to cover the approximately $37,000+ premium.”

This is another proactive step by the WHSAA Board of Directors that assures all WHSAA student participants, who are diagnosed with a sport or activity related concussion, will be afforded treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.

“We have been active in attempting to minimize risks for our students for many years with the assistance of our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee,” said Laird. “The WHSAA was one of the first states to establish a rule of not allowing a student to participate after being unconscious during a contest. Student safety remains our number one focus. This is just another opportunity for us to assist in taking care of our student participants.”

The insurance is the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program developed by Dissinger Reed Insurance. It covers every student in grades five through twelve participating in any practice or game sanctioned by the WHSAA.

“The WHSAA’s continued commitment to concussion care is exemplary and should be applauded,” said Dissinger Reed owner and CEO, Christian Reed. “Their proactive approach to protecting the young athletes in Wyoming has been fantastic and we are thrilled they are the 5th state association to adopt the HeadStrong program.”

For any claim, the participant’s insurance would first be billed and then the HeadStrong insurance would act as secondary insurance and assist with unpaid deductibles or co-pays. The maximum benefit is $25,000 per injury and there is no deductible per claim.

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Rugby Players Take Part in Ground-Breaking Concussion Study

Rugby players from Aviva Premiership Rugby and Greene King IPA Championship are to take part in a major study led by the University of Birmingham as part of its work to develop a ground-breaking pitch-side test to diagnose concussion and brain injury.

The study, being carried out in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association, will run throughout the 2017/18 rugby season and is the biggest of its kind to take place in the history of UK sport. It is a key element in the University of Birmingham’s research programme to create a test that can be performed rapidly pitch-side and will determine whether a player has been concussed. The study is part of the University of Birmingham’s REpetitive COncussion in Sport (RECOS) project.

The test also has the potential to assist in return to play decisions and could be used across sports, from grassroots to professional level. It is hoped it could also be used more widely by frontline medics in the NHS and military to improve diagnosis and treatment within the first critical hour after brain trauma.

The team at the University’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences, led by neurosurgeon Professor Tony Belli, has spent the last nine years carrying out research which has led to the development of a test that measures biomarkers present in the saliva and urine of players. The test, if validated, could be done on a hand-held device, which is currently under development.

Professor Belli said: “Early and accurate diagnosis of concussion is one of the biggest challenges we face clinically and is particularly a major concern in the sporting world.

“The University of Birmingham recently made a significant breakthrough after identifying molecules, which can be found in saliva and act as biomarkers to indicate whether the brain has suffered injury.

“In this exciting next study with the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association, we will collect players’ saliva and urine pre and post-injury, which we will then test in the laboratory in order to assess the reliability of these biomarkers.

“If these biomarkers are found reliable, we can continue our work with industrial partners with the hope to have a device available within the next two years that will instantaneously diagnose concussion on the pitch-side with the same accuracy as in the laboratory – a major step forward for both sport and medicine.”

Dr Simon Kemp, RFU Chief Medical Officer, explained: “This is an important addition to the breadth of research we are undertaking into concussion and player welfare more broadly. There is currently no reliable or proven biomarker or objective test for the diagnosis of concussion and this lack of objectivity is the biggest challenge facing medical professionals in dealing with this type of injury.

“While very much an exploratory piece of research, this is a project that has the potential to make a very significant impact on the diagnosis and management of players following concussion.”

Premiership Rugby Head of Elite Performance and Player Development Corin Palmer said: “Premiership Rugby is committed to putting our clubs and players at the front and centre of what we do, and player welfare is our number one priority. This research has the potential to impact positively on the way in which we assess and manage concussion and as such we are keen to give it our full support.

“All Premiership Rugby clubs and players are already taking part in the preparatory stages of the research ahead of the new season, and we look forward to seeing the results of Professor Belli’s work.”

The Rugby Players’ Association’s Rugby Director Richard Bryan said: “The RPA Players’ Board has given its full support to this vital research study which we hope will be a significant development for the future of concussion diagnosis.

“This forms part of the RPA’s ongoing commitment to work collaboratively with the RFU and Premiership Rugby to ensure that the game continues to make advances in concussion education, research and management for the wellbeing of all players.”

Players participating in the study will provide saliva and urine samples to act as a base-line benchmark. During a match, players with confirmed or suspected concussion will provide saliva samples immediately following injury. Players will also provide follow-up saliva samples, as well as urine samples, as they go through the return to play protocol. These will be compared to the baseline benchmarks, plus those from players from the same game who did not suffer head injury, and those who had other injuries. If there are no Head Injury Assessments (HIAs) or confirmed concussions in a match, then no samples will be collected.

The study will be carried out during all Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship club competitions where the HIA is in operation and will run alongside the existing HIA off field screen that will be for a fixed period of ten minutes. This study replaces the King-Devick research project that was conducted last season. The King-Devick results are currently being analysed and the aim is to publish the findings following scientific peer review.

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Canadian Concussion Collaborative Identifies Characteristics of Good Concussion Clinics

The Canadian Concussion Collaborative (CCC) released today a guide to help parents and their children choose a good concussion clinic.

Signs or symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise. For about nine in 10 people with concussions, symptoms heal gradually after seven to 10 days, but those with continuing symptoms may need a personalized care plan.

Finding a good concussion clinic that offers management and treatment can be confusing.

4 Characteristics of a Good Concussion Clinic suggests the questions to ask a clinic to make sure you’re receiving high-quality care that is supported by current guidelines.

“The guide provides important questions to ask and outlines the best approach to concussion care and management,” says Dr. Pierre Frémont, Chair of the CCC and professor at the department of rehabilitation in sports medicine general practice at Université Laval.

The four key characteristics to keep in mind when selecting a concussion clinic are:

  1. Medical doctor: Clinics should have timely access to physicians with experience in treating concussions who can do the initial assessment, direct care and provide final medical clearance.
  2. Team of licensed health care professionals: Clinics should have access to licensed professionals from several health care disciplines. They can provide complimentary expertise and work with the medical doctor to design a personalized treatment plan.
  3. Adhere to the most up-to-date standards of care: Recommended standards of care are updated every few years by groups of experts and are shared via documents like the international Consensus statement on concussion in sport.
  4. Tools, tests and recommendations used: Clinics should perform tests recommended in the most current international Consensus statement on concussion in sport to evaluate different components such as symptoms, mental functions and balance. Pre-season baseline testing is not recommended for children and adolescents.

“Good care and treatment is essential to a positive recovery from a concussion. Being able to identify a good concussion clinic that follows best practices provided by licensed health professionals is an important first step,” said Dr. Frémont.

About the Canadian Concussion Collaborative

The mission of the CCC is to create synergy between health organizations concerned with concussions in order to improve both the education about concussions, and the implementation of best practices for their prevention and management.

The CCC is composed of members from the following organizations:

  • Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Canadian Athletic Therapists Association
  • Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport
  • Canadian Chiropractic Association
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Canadian Neurosurgical Society
  • Canadian Paediatric Society
  • Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Canadian Psychological Association
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • National Emergency Nurses Association
  • Ontario Medical Association Sport & Exercise Medicine Section
  • Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
  • Parachute
  • Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences (Canada)

For more information, please visit http://casem-acmse.org/education/ccc/

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