Tag Archives: mouthguard

Study: Brand/Type of Helmet and Mouthguard May Not Significantly Reduce Risk of Sport-Related Concussions

In a recent presentation at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, a sports medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, presented at talk on: “Incidence of Sport-Related Concussion in High School Football Players: Effect of Helmets, Mouthguards, Previous Concussions, Years Playing Experience.”

Dr. Brooks co-led a prospective cohort study of 2,288 high school football players over two seasons (2012 and 2013) to investigate whether a particular brand of helmet or type of mouthguard affects an athlete’s risk of suffering from sport-related concussion.

The study compared the helmet brands of Riddell, Schutt and Xenith with purchase years of 2003 through 2013 and generic versus specialized or custom mouthguard types against the incidence and severity (days lost) for each sport-related concussion sustained. Chi-square and t-tests were used to analyze incidence and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests were used to determine severity. In total, 204 players sustained 208 sport-related concussions, causing them to miss a median of 14 days.

While helmet brand or age did not significantly affect the incidence or severity of sport-related concussion, prior concussion and the use of specialized or custom mouthguards were associated with an increased incidence of the injury. This is in contrast to manufacturers’ claims that a specific brand of helmet or type of mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of concussion. Final multivariate regression analysis is in progress.

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Product Manufacturers Facing Concussion Suits, Too

(Editor’s note: What follows is a brief intro to a story that appears in the July 2012 issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. Each monthly issue will feature six to eight stories on the legal strategies being deployed by practitioners in the concussion litigation space.)

By Paul D. Anderson, Editor of Concussion Litigation  Reporter

With the Concussion Era fully upon us, the market is ripe for entrepreneurs to attempt to capitalize on equipment aimed at reducing concussions. However, the buyer — and manufacturers — should beware.

Renowned neurologist, Dr. Robert Cantu, recently told NBC’s Kate Snow that there is no such thing as a “concussion-reduction device.

Dr. Cantu blasted the company, Full90 Sports, for claiming its headgear had the ability to “reduce typical impact forces by up to 50%.” Dr.Cantu said that these claims are dangerous because it gives a player a “false sense of security” and makes them play with “greater abandon.”

Congress and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) issued statements regarding the avalanche of products that claim to reduce concussions.

Last year, U.S. Senator Tom Udall requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate potentially false claims made by Riddell Helmets, Schutt Sports and other companies that sell refurbished helmets.

Mike Oliver, NOCSAE’s executive director, recently echoed  Senator Udall and Dr. Cantu’s comments: Currently,  there is no definitive scientific research linking mouth guards, head bands, supplements or other specialty products to a reduction in concussion risk or severity. For companies to suggest otherwise misleads athletes…

These remarks perked the interest of plaintiffs’ lawyers, and sparked the first-of-its-kind lawsuit via consumer-protection statutes. Though there have been several lawsuits levied against helmet manufacturers for personal injuries, this is the first to specifically attack a manufacture’s representation about concussion-reduction devices.

(to read the rest of this story in the July issue and have access to future proprietary articles, subscribe by visiting http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe)

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Industry Overseer Warns of False Claims by Makers of Concussion Equipment and Products

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) has issued a warning to athletes and parents of athletes to thoroughly understand the extent of protection provided by – or not provided by – athletic equipment worn while playing sports.

The warning was issued to counter claims made by several companies that make products such as head bands, supplements or mouth guards, which they claim reduce the incident of concussion.

NOCSAE, an independent organization with “the dual purpose of setting standards for the performance of athletic equipment and funding research necessary to advance the science of sports,” issued the following statement through Mike Oliver, its executive director:

“Parents, athletes and coaches are becoming more informed about concussions, and this increased awareness is vitally important to advancing athlete safety. But it also creates a demand for quick solutions. Unfortunately there are quick solutions offered for sale which have neither scientific nor medical support that validate their claims to prevent or reduce concussions. Any device or supplement promoted as being able to prevent, diagnose or cure a concussion must be supported by scientific data and peer-reviewed research. Currently there is no definitive scientific research linking mouth guards, head bands, supplements or other specialty products to a reduction in concussion risk or severity. For companies to suggest otherwise misleads athletes, parents and coaches into a dangerous false sense of protection against concussion. NOCSAE warns athletes and parents of athletes to get the facts about sports equipment and concussion protection and not rely solely on marketing and promotional materials when making equipment decisions.”

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