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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

Sometimes it's hard to believe the change in society's awareness of brain injuries. Actually, it's more than a change; it's a seismic shift.

It wasn't too many years ago that our blog posts despaired of ever seeing a meaningful increase in TBI research, improved safety features in football helmets, baseline brain scans for athletes, TBI news in major media on a regular basis. We wondered where the funding would come from that's so necessary to medical advancements. Little did we know at the time that it would take a war and the NFL to change things.

How ironic that the war in Iraq, where so many lives have been altered or lost, would emerge as the greatest gift to advancements in brain injury research, treatment and knowlege ever seen. And who would have believed that the NFL, that bastion of the suck-it-up mentality, would help lead the way in research and major safety improvements to football at all levels? Now, calls for change are everywhere. It's rare to read a major news site and not learn that someone somewhere is trying to make [choose activity] safer for our brains. We do indeed live in strange times.

From The Vancouver Sun:
So, another rousing night of hockey; another brain-injured young man left quivering on the ice like a poleaxed seal.

Yes, yes, I know, why choose a term like brain-injured when a less gruesome word such as "dazed" is available?

Canucks' defenceman Dan Hamhuis now joins the growing gallery of "concussed" hockey players. We use genteel words such as "concussed" so we don't need to say brain-injured.

At my last count, 16 National Hockey League players were sidelined with brain trauma. They range from superstars to salary men.

Yet despite its rule change to reduce head injuries, the NHL's own data show such injuries are following a trend up, not down.

Meanwhile, the hockey brotherhood retreats into its comfort zone of platitudes and excuses.

"Unfortunate accident; part of the game; it's physical, these things happen; bad luck; it was a clean hit; I didn't see it; he should have protected himself; he had his head down: " The exculpatory list drones on.

Continue reading.

And from Discount Vouchers News of all places:
Researchers in the British Medical Journal say helmets should be included in equipment rental packages at ski resorts. The group says research has shown them to significantly reduce head injuries. They said that among adults injuries were reduced by 35 per cent and 59 per cent in children.

The researchers also argued that awareness of brain injuries from accidents would also increase helmet use. However, some instructors claim helmets are unnecessary. The Austrian team examined a number of previous studies for their research.

One group found that between 9 and 19 per cent of all skiing injuries reported were head injuries. They also found that traumatic brain injuries from accidents were a leading cause of death in winter sports. Another group found that those wearing helmets were significantly less likely to report an injury.

Continue reading.

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