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Study finds there is “significant underreporting” of concussions in hockey

Dec 2, 2012, 4:04 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby AP

A year-long report released on Friday that centered around men’s and women’s college hockey teams in Canada and the United States says coaches would rather have players with possible head injuries to keep playing rather than get them out of the game and checked out.

Alan Maki of The Globe And Mail hears from the lead scientist on the study, Dr. Paul Echlin, about the results they’ve seen through testing Canadian university players. 

“We did a previous study [one year ago] with the CIS without observers,” Echlin said. “We didn’t do MRI imaging and there was only one reported concussion for that season. This past season, we were full on with multiple physicians at games, home and away, and we did imaging. It really demonstrates the underreporting of medical concussions.”

We’ve seen it happen numerous times in the past where a player gets hit hard and appears to suffer issues with staying cognizant only to continue playing in the game. While the NHL has new concussion protocols, the study finds coaches at lower levels aren’t taking the same kind of care.

One coach quoted in Jeff Z. Klein’s piece on this for the New York Times saying, “Unless something is broken, I want them back out playing.”

If this kind of thinking is going to change to help players stay healthy, it’s going to take a lot of change to how people perceive concussions.

  1. id4joey - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    And some commenters here on PHT actually wished Crosby would get concussed if he decided to go play overseas. F ing classless you guys. You know who you are, losers.

    • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      Joey, you immediately expect the worse from people. Give people the benefit of the doubt until an individual proves unworthy of that.

      Sports tend to bring out immaturity and jealousy in those already prone to it, but I seriously doubt many genuinely would wish harm to another human just because they are good at something.

      I agree with the article though. In my opinion part of it is the competitiveness on behalf of the hurt player, and even the coaching staff. The other part is that coaches may not want to reveal certain injuries, or even injury time tables that may give their opponents an edge knowing someone isn’t at 100%.

      Part of it is needed R&D for new equipment, while another is player education on body positioning and being a more “personally defensive” player.

      When all of that fails, the rest fall into the lap of the league’s police. I think Shanahan started out the season well, and had good intentions, but ended up wavering and looked wish-washy on many calls/non calls for player discipline.

      • aklolzer - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        I literally do wish harm on Crosby. I hope he does get a concussion overseas.

      • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        Trolls be trollin’

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    It’s not just coaches, most players have the drive to play through pain even when they know they probably shouldn’t. There needs to be a fundmental shift in the thinking of both players and coaches, starting at a young age, if our regard for players’ health and safety is to be improved.

  3. killerpgh - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    You will never get rid of concussion or even be able to detect them before the symptoms are shown. It’s an unfortunate part of the game. Unless you want to ruin the game by either taking out checking or make every person who got checked sit out for the next 7 day to see if there is a possible concussion. Even in the NHL they miss concussions even after making the players go to the “quite room”. 2 cases that come to mind are David Perron and Kris Letang. Both took head shots, left the game, got cleared to come, scored and then missed games after developing symptoms hours (maybe even a full day with Perron) after the game.

  4. id4joey - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Expect the worse. What are you talking about? Some commenters actually wrote, here on PHT, that they wished he would get concussed if he went overseas. That’s not an expectation, but rather a hard fact.

    • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Didn’t think I’d find someone more pessimistic than me :/ You make it into an art form.

      • id4joey - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        zetaone, WTF are you talking about? Did you actually intent to reply to me? If so, I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

      • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        Were you not talking to me? I replied directly to your first comment in this article saying that you expect the worse from everyone (at least 90% of the comments I read from you). I see that as pessimism… I figured this was a rebuttal to that…

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      It’s “expect the worst” you morons.

      • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        Not if you use ‘worse’ it as a noun. Moron.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        No, it’s still incorrect.

    • General Lee 1175 - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      Joey quit your whining you little baby you little infant you wanna be hockey player you wanna be hockey reporter …. you’re a nothing

  5. nyrnashty - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    If you don’t want a concussion don’t play hockey. Tired of hearing the media bringing up concussions it’s part of the game just like in football. If you’re afraid of a concussion go play Tennis! Of course as a player you don’t want to let someone know if it’s not serious you’re going to play. No one really knows anything about the brain and doctors are now trying to cash in on football and hockey players every chance they get by declaring they have a concussion every time the slightest of contact is made to a players hear. You don’t think doctors want to fatten their pockets? Ir’s a business just like anything else. If a hockey or football player feels like they can play they’re going to play bottom line. Doctors want players to sit out now 4-6 weeks or longer anytime they deem a player MIGHT have a concussion after receiving a hit to the head. I wonder why?

    • zetaone - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      You know, part of me wanted to say that; They are paid millions of dollars to put their bodies in harm’s way. Buuuuut, that doesn’t mean complacency should be commonplace.

  6. id4joey - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    General Lee, my daddy is stronger than your daddy.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 2, 2012 at 11:50 PM

      It’s true, you can smell him from clean across the room…

      • id4joey - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:31 AM

        M&M, you want to play childish word games. ok. my daddy will throw your daddy across the room. WTH you doing here.

    • valoisvipers - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Looks like Gen Lee has been into the moonshine again.Cousin Sara better go hide.

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