Concussions in Hockey Essay

3226 Words Oct 30th, 2011 13 Pages
Kyle Johnson

Concussions In Hockey

The sport of hockey is an intense test of power and will, and as a result of the injuries in sport are common realities that players and coaches are faced with. Among these injuries are concussions, arguably the worst injury of all. A significant blow to the head that causes the brain to shake in the skull and sometime even swell causes a concussion. These serious and sometimes life threatening injuries have always been a part of hockey, and up until a few years ago, little was being done to combat the cause. Although great strides have been made to help athletes recover from a concussion, the question arises, why are hockey players so susceptible to these terrible head injuries in the first place?
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Like all sports, the ability to think the game and mentally prepare is arguably the most important aspect. After suffering a concussion, players often explain to doctors and trainers feelings of cloudiness and the inability to think without distraction. As a result this can lead to a decrease in major areas that directly correlate to player performance.
The NHL implemented a new policy for “in game” concussion testing. During a game, a player that is suspected of having a concussion will be removed from the game and sent to a quiet place free from distraction so the on-site team physician can examine them. The physician will then apply the SCAT (Sports Concussion Assessment Tool) test to evaluate the player, and determine whether or not he has been concussed. In the past, players were simply assessed on the bench by the team’s trainer. If it is determined that the hockey player has indeed suffered a concussion, the player is immediately sent for observation and testing at a hospital or private clinic. Rest is recommended and athletes are not allowed to return to game play until they are symptom free. There are however, certain steps to be followed upon a player return to practice and game play. The following is a mandatory 6-step process used by trainers, physicians and coaches to determine the readiness of a player who has suffered a concussion.
Step 1: No activity, only complete rest. This means no work, no school, and no physical activity. When symptoms are
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