geldefenderTM Blog

  • North Carolina high school football player dies from head injury complications

     

    Head injury has tragically robbed the world of many promising student athletes; in one week in September alone, three high school football players in the US lost their lives due to head trauma. One of them was injured in GelDefender’s own backyard, less than half an hour’s drive from our Raleigh headquarters.

     

    Isaiah Langston, a 17-year-old lineman at Rolesville High School, died five days after being hit in the back of the head during practice on Sept. 24. After the initial injury, he was held out of practice due to headaches for two days before returning to play for a Sept. 26 game. He collapsed during the pre-game warmups, was rushed to the hospital, and died on Sept. 29 of a stroke.

     

    The recently-released state medical examiner’s report listed the cause of death as “head trauma while playing football” and ruled the death an accident. According to the report, his stroke was caused by a clot in a major artery leading to the brain, which, through a medical chain of events, was most likely caused by the blow in practice.

     

    It’s unclear whether he saw and was cleared by a doctor or athletic trainer to return to play (as is required by North Carolina state law for a student-athlete with concussion symptoms). But it’s reasonably clear that there was a mishandling of the head injury and that Langston’s death was the result. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we hope this tragedy will inspire others to take head injuries seriously and play it safer 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.

  • Pro football player donates brain to research

     

    A former player in the Canadian Football League has donated his brain to research, renewing dialogue about the long-term effects of head injury in professional contact sports.

     

    John Forzani, former Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman, died last week at the age of 67 following a heart attack. His brain will go to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project to help with studies concerning head trauma in CFL players. Forzani had suffered several concussions throughout his six-season career, once even playing with a broken helmet after a hard hit to the head. The results of the study of his brain will made public in a few weeks.

     

    Dr. Charles Tator, the neurosurgeon who heads the fifteen scientists and clinicians associated with the project, has asked more players to donate, saying that they need a total of about 50 brains of CFL players in order to come to definitive conclusions. As of now, they’ve only been able to study six, three of which had suffered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

     

    According to friends, Forzani saw the need for more research about brain injury and CTE and therefore donated his brain in order to help players going forward. If more follow his example, perhaps future generations 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.

  • Lions player stays on field after hit to head

     

    Despite the strides the NFL and other sports’ sanctioning bodies have made in recent years, it seems that some head injuries are still brushed off as trifles to be dealt with later.

     

    When Detroit Lions offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle banged his head on the field late in the game against the New Orleans Saints, he was not taken out of play as is the protocol for hard hits to the head. The team was aware that a concussion was a possibility, but the coaches put him in for one final play instead of having the team doctors evaluate him immediately.

     

    Granted, the play only entailed the snap and quarterback Matthew Stafford’s taking a knee to end the game, so I’ll allow that there was little chance of a second impact. But small allowances like these so soon after the protocol was implemented does not bode well for future handling of head injuries. Similar lines of logic – “just one more play before he comes out” or “the game’s almost over; we’ll check him out then” – could have much more far-reaching consequences in other circumstances. Not only is delaying diagnosis and treatment risky, but it is also downright dangerous to put an injured player back on the field and gamble that he isn’t injured a second time.

     

    So while this particular move seemed low-risk and innocent, it is the top of a slippery and alarming slope. Let’s hope the NFL and its teams don’t continue down it.

     

    *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.

  • Formula One head injury victim still in hospital

     

    Another tragic head injury has the world holding its breath this week as Formula One driver Jules Bianchi remains in “critical but stable” condition after a crash Sunday.

     

    The car the talented French 25-year-old was driving hit a tractor during the Japanese Grand Prix, and he suffered a diffuse axonal injury, a type of brain injury. His family has now arrived at the hospital in Japan where he is being treated, increasing concerns that his prognosis is bleak.

     

    Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he fights for his life. We wish him a full recovery followed by a long, successful career, even as his condition reminds us of how much is at stake where our heads are concerned.

     

    *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 school football player sustains fatal head injury

     

    Another high school football player lost his life this week as a result of an on-field head injury.

     

    Tom Cutinella, a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School, collided with a player on the opposing team during the third quarter a game on Long Island Wednesday and collapsed. He died in the hospital later that night.

     

    Tom also played lacrosse and was a member of the Natural Helpers program. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and school, and we grieve his loss with them.

     

    *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.

  • FIFA to change its concussion protocol

     

    FIFA is expected to change its head injury protocol today, allowing team doctors to stop play for the injured player to be assessed.

     

    The new policy will allow referees to stop games for three minutes for team doctors to check an injured player. The doctor will then have to give authorization before the referee will allow the player back into the game. The doctor, not the player or the coach, will have the final say as to whether he stays in the game. FIFA hopes the new measures will reinforce the role of team doctors, giving them more authority in concussion management.

     

    Following the high-profile mishandlings of concussions at the World Cup, FIFA has been under enormous pressure to regulate how teams respond to head injuries on the field. In response, a proposal for rule changes was to be brought before the executive committee to be confirmed this week. The two-day meeting began yesterday, so the final decision should be announced soon.

     

    *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.

  • Study: Xenon gas treatment could reduce effect of brain injuries

     

    Xenon gas may be able to reduce brain damage after head injuries, according to a new study. Since there are currently no drugs that can be given after a concussion to lessen its impact, this could be a great breakthrough in head injury treatment.

     

    Researchers at Imperial College in London have discovered that in mice, xenon gas given within the first three hours of a brain impact limits brain damage in the short and long term. The mice treated performed better in neurological tests both in the days after injury and after one month. The effect had been observed in mechanical injuries in the lab, but this was the first time it had been shown in live animals.

     

    The promising results could lead to clinical trials for using xenon gas to treat human head injuries. If successful, this could be a huge step forward in caring for concussions 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.

  • New NFL season arrives and with it, new concussions

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    With Week 1 of the new NFL season wrapped up and Week 2 barely begun, this year’s round of head injuries in professional football has commenced. Before the games even began, 10 players were on the  disabled list with concussions, and several more have been sustained during play, including Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Jags safety Jonathan Cyprien.

     

    Though the handling of head injuries across football has improved greatly recently, we still have a long way to go in discovering how best to prevent, diagnose and treat them. Millions of dollars is being spent on research to better understand these injuries that seem an epidemic in not only football but in athletics as a whole as well.

     

    Over the past three years, the NFL has averaged 247 concussions per season. With improved awareness and further research, let’s hope that number will be dramatically lower three years from now.

     

    *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.

  • Play it safer this fall season

     

    The much-dreaded return to the classroom has arrived for students everywhere, but with it also comes the much-anticipated fall sports season.

     

    Given the amount of literature about sports head injuries generated and circulated recently, we are not going to add another detailed explanation of the risks into the fray. But as the kids you care about head back onto the field, we’d be remiss not to remind you to take care of their brains.

     

    Remember, a hard hit to the head is not just getting your bell rung, and shaking it off or powering through is not something to be congratulated. Make sure the student-athletes you know and their coaches are educated about the short- and long-term dangers of head injury and follow safe protocols.

     

    Good equipment, correct on-field techniques and swift identification and treatment of concussions all play a big part in keeping athletes safe. If players and coaches are proactive in taking care of athletes’ brains, then kids can 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.

  • Lab grows brain tissue, opens doors for concussion reseach

     

    In a huge leap forward for head injury research, brain tissue has, for the first time, been successfully grown in a lab.

     

    The new 3D tissue functions chemically and electrically like a real brain and can survive for up to two months in a lab. Until now, scientists have only been able to research with 2D neurons instead of with the complex structure of grey and white matter that the new tissue replicates. In addition to head injury research, the advancement could also shed light on other matters such as dementia, drug screening, and nutrition.

     

    Now, scientists are able to mimic brain injuries by dropping weights onto the synthetic brains, and they are hopeful that this will be enable them to better track how the brain responds to and recovers from concussion. Consequently, they may be able to find ways to repair the damaged areas.

     

    Of course, this is still mostly speculation, and only time will tell how much or little enlightenment this brain tissue will yield, but it certainly is a significant step forward and has the potential to be a brain injury game-changer.

     

    *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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