geldefenderTM Blog

  • New movie 'Concussion' to revitalize head injury awareness

    The trailer for the new movie Concussion was released this week, and the 2-minute clip is already making waves across the head injury landscape (not to mention pro football’s landscape).

     

    Will Smith will star as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who linked Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy to head injuries in football after conducting autopsies on the brains of several NFL players. The movie, which hits theaters on Christmas Day, will tell the story of his struggle to warn athletes and the public of the dangers despite the NFL’s refusal to acknowledge those dangers or Omalu’s work. The film is based on a 2009 GQ article called “Concussions in the NFL.”

     

    The ramifications for the NFL, which is not depicted in a flattering light to say the least, could be severe. Though it’s unclear what the fallout will be, the organization is in for some rough waters come December 25.

     

    On the other hand, the film will go a long way toward throwing the spotlight on concussion issues for the general public. It will humanize a rather clinical issue to a broader audience, reviving head injury dialogue on a grand scale. If the stir caused by the trailer is any indication, the movie itself will push sports head safety awareness to an all-time high.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Yankees' pitcher suffers concussion after being hit by ball

    New York Yankees’ starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell was hit in the head Monday during a game against the Minnesota Twins.

     

    The Twins’ Eduardo Nunez fired a lined shot back at Mitchell, and the ball hit his nose. Luckily, it was deflected slightly by the bill of his hat, but he still walked away with a broken nose and is on the seven-day concussion disabled list. He said he never saw the ball.

     

    The team is hopeful that he’ll be ready to return to the mound as soon as his time on the DL is up, but given that it’s the rookie 24-year-old’s second concussion in a month’s time, it may be wiser to give him more time for recovery. Re-entering before his brain is ready could be detrimental to his health down the road.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Blood test may someday be used to diagnose TBIs

    A new way to diagnose head injuries using biomarkers in the blood may be able to predict how long victims will suffer from the symptoms, according to a new study.

     

    Dr. Frederick Korley of John’s Hopkins School of Medicine explained in an interview that currently the only way to test for traumatic brain injuries (aside from subjective neurological assessments as found in most sideline exams) is a CT scan. However, CT scans can only show bleeding on the brain, an important function of course. But about 90% of patients with head injuries have no bleeding but do have damage to brain cells.

     

    But Korley has developed a way to evaluate head injuries based on the levels of a protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the blood. Though right now there is no FDA-approved blood test for brain injury diagnosis, this could be a significant step toward that goal. If it does become an approved tool, we could soon be seeing more precise and better treatment for head injury victims.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • MIT addresses head injury risks in sailing

    While concussion reform has been sweeping other sports, very little attention has been given to sailing head injuries. A recent article out of MIT may be the beginning of change, though.

     

    According to Sailing Master Franny Charles, head injuries were the most frequent injury for which MIT’s sailing team sought medical help. The resulting functional problems were affecting the members’ schoolwork, even forcing some to leave the school entirely.

     

    Because over 3,000 MIT students sail actively every year (either competitively or recreationally), the school took steps to reduce the risks. The swinging booms on the fleet were replaced with lighter carbon booms, and all new boats purchased have a higher rig by four inches. In addition, all sailors are required to wear helmets.

     

    As a result of these simple measures, the students’ head injuries have all but ended.

     

    Charles believes that similar actions by leaders in the sport (boat designers, organizers, etc.) could be a significant step toward protecting sailors on a larger scale. Perhaps with better awareness toward the dangers, sailing will see a similar transformation to other sports and be safer for heads in the future.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Cricket player's head injury renews attention to concussion issues

    Chris Rogers, an Australian cricket player, has brought the sport’s spotlight once again onto head injuries after a recent hit to the head.

     

    The 37-year-old was struck on the helmet by the ball during the first innings of a game but didn’t leave the field until the second when his symptoms fully materialized. According to a teammate, he thought the grandstand was moving. He has since been monitored and undergone tests several times to ensure his head health.

     

    The incident comes mere months after cricket player Phillip Hughes died after being hit just below the ear during a similar play. The occurrences have raised head injury awareness among cricket fans and players, so perhaps the reforms that have been sweeping other sports will reach cricket as well. Hopefully future players will be able to play it safer.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Canadian football player wears GelDefender for every game

    “I have been wearing the GelDefender for two seasons, and when it comes to safety during the game, there is nothing better. It gives me so much confidence when I play that I’ll never suit up for another game without one on. I would suggest wearing this to anyone I care about and if you ask me, they should be mandatory at all levels.”  -- Bryn Roy, Montreal Alouettes #16

     

    Bryn Roy is a 27-year-old professional linebacker for the Montreal Alouettes (part of the Eastern Division of the Canadian Football League). The CFL is the highest level of competition of Canadian football (very similar to American football), and Roy was drafted 34th overall in 2012. He now uses a GelDefender skull during every game he plays.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • MLB player plays with concussion for over an inning

    A Major League second baseman suffered a concussion last week but was not taken out of the game for another inning and a half.

     

    The Cardinals’ Kolten Wong hit his head on the ground while making a catch during the fifth inning of a game against the Cubs (a 7-4 loss), staying in despite feeling dizzy and being slow to get up after the hit. He was evaluated and cleared but was eventually taken out after his headache (which had been a constant since the impact) intensified past endurance. He sat the second game of the double header and was later diagnosed with the concussion.

     

    That fact that Wong played through a concussion is troubling, but the fact that he underwent testing for a head injury and was cleared to play anyway is equally so. Now that he has been diagnosed, he will have to be cleared by MLB’s medical director before returning, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Head-to-head collision highlights flaws in FIFA concussion policies

    A cringe-worthy head-to-head collision in the women’s USA-Germany semifinal game Tuesday highlighted FIFA’s still-lacking protocols for dealing with head injuries.

     

    USA’s Morgan Brian and Germany’s Alexandra Popp both jumped to redirect a free kick on Germany’s goal, and, just after Brian managed to head it away, their heads collided with a force that sent them both to the ground for four minutes. Brian was kicking the artificial grass in pain; Popp’s head began bleeding.

     

    But instead of being taken to the sidelines to be evaluated, both of them reported no symptoms and were sent right back on the field (after Popp’s head was bandaged). Taking them out would have used up one of the three substitutions each team is allowed per game, and sending them back in, had they been declared concussion-free, would have used up another.

     

    As with Lebron James’s head-to-camera collision during the NBA Finals, the situation clearly deserved further evaluation to make sure it was safe for them to continue. Not only were they not required to be checked out, but the teams would have more or less been penalized if the players had left the field. Clearly something needs to change.

     

    Regardless, we hope both Brian and Popp are concussion-free and will recover quickly from the incident. And we wish the USA team good luck as it takes on Japan Sunday for the title!

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Manitoba expert proposes standard concussion rules for all youth sports

    Sanctioning bodies across sports have been struggling to implement head injury protocols that both protect their players and minimize the disruption to games and competitions. The result has been a hodgepodge of rules and regulations varying from sport to sport, level to level, country to country.

     

    Now, a Canadian concussion expert is lobbying for a standard set of guidelines for all young athletes with potential head injuries throughout his province, Manitoba. Dr. Michael Ellis, medical director of the Pan Am Concussion Program, wants all of Manitoba’s sporting groups, organizations, and school divisions to offer the same quality of care to their athletes after hits to the head. He says the majority of the patients he sees (his clinic only treats ages 19 and under) are the result of hockey, soccer, and football injuries and that having an across-the-board standard of care would better protect the players.

     

    The concept is an interesting one in that it would keep youth organizations and leagues honest and define the roles of coaches, parents, and medical professionals in such incidents. But by the same token, baseball is very different to soccer is very different to football is very difference to basketball. A one-size-fits-all approach to sideline care might not be practical. The success or failure of the idea, should it come to fruition, could be a powerful precedent for other governing bodies.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • High stakes override head injury concerns during NBA Finals

    The NBA saw another case of high stakes overriding health concerns last week when LeBron James careened head-first into a sideline camera during Game 4 of the Finals.

     

    After the impact, he immediately began rolling on the ground clutching his head in pain. When he finally made it back to the sidelines, he was bleeding from the head, but he was not taken out of play for evaluation. After getting a quick once-over, during which he told trainers that he was alert and only had a slight headache, he was sent back onto the court.

     

    Now, this was a particularly tricky situation, in that James was due to shoot free-throws immediately after the injury. If he had not returned to shoot those, he would have been unable to return to play for the rest of the game. And taking the best basketball player in the world out of an NBA Finals game without the possibility of return seems foolish unless a head injury is confirmed.

     

    With that in mind, perhaps it wasn’t absolutely essential for him to be evaluated before those foul shots. But after he took the shots, no move was made to send in a sub so that he could be checked out. A blow to the head that had left him practically writhing on the ground in pain mere minutes before had been seemingly forgotten as the game surged forward.

     

    The NBA protocol requires that anybody exhibiting symptoms of a concussion be evaluated before returning to play, but the vagueness of that language and the unreliability of players’ self-reporting creates too much room for error. Perhaps it’s time to rethink those protocols.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

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