With the NHL Playoffs now down to the final four and a home team continuing their quest for the Stanley Cup, even more British Columbians are fired up about the Vancouver Canucks. The sport of hockey has never been more popular in this province. But an unfortunate problem continues to hurt the game: Concussions.
Over 100 concussions were recorded in the 2010-11 NHL season, at least 10 of them occurring in less than five weeks of playoff action.
During game 1 of the Western Conference final between Vancouver and San Jose, the CBC ran an announcement from ThinkFirst, the national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries, about concussions in hockey.
According to SportMedBC CEO Lynda Cannell, with so many people checking out the series opener, the message couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Kudos to ThinkFirst for putting out their message about preventing head injuries, front and centre for millions of viewers across the country to see.
“With over 100 concussions across the league this season, hockey is a prime target for general injury prevention and concussion management discussions. There is no question that concussions and their consequences are hurting the game of hockey both at the professional and amateur levels,” Cannell said.
“It’s important to find avenues like this to present clear ideas in the area of sport safety.”
Prior to the NHL post season, ThinkFirst released a hockey specific video that focuses on preventing injuries to the brain. With up-to-date concussion information on identifying and managing concussions, brain and spinal cord injury protection, and recovery and return-to-play protocols, this 26 minute video is a must see for the hockey player, fan, coaches and especially parents.
The video has been endorsed by the NHL, NHLPA, the International Ice Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada.
ThinkFirst also maintains a current list of resources on concussion information which is designed to help physicians, coaches, parents and athletes understand and navigate the sometimes difficult process of recovery from concussion.
Photo: Getty Images