Concussions in Nelson: A note to readers

Introducing a series focused on concussions in our sports community.

Part 1: A doctor struggles to raise the alarm

Part 2: A mother and son, at home and in hell

Part 3: Old before their time

Part 4: Protecting hockey players from the game

Part 5: A former NHL player flinches at the past

Part 6: Surveying how our athletes are cared for

Next week we will begin publishing a series of articles focused on concussions in Nelson. These stories, which will be published online Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two weeks as well as in our print editions, will highlight the people who have suffered from the injury as well as health care professionals who care for them in our sports community.

Links to these articles will also be found on this page as they are published.

For all the attention given to concussions in recent years, there remains a misunderstanding about what the injury is and the dangers it poses. Concussions, which are a subset of traumatic brain injuries, were defined at the International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in 2012 as “a brain injury and is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces.”

A motion that causes the brain to shake within the skull is the layman’s way of describing the injury. Concussions don’t require a physical blow to the head to occur, although it is reasonable to think that may be the most common scenario in which concussions are suffered in amateur sports.

Several other misconceptions exist, including those about baseline testing, early detection and treatment as well as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. These misconceptions will be addressed in our series, as told by the men, women and children who have not only suffered injuries but work to treat and prevent them.

Although this series will inform readers about how Nelson’s sports community addresses, or fails to address, concussions, our stories are not meant to be read as an indictment of any one person or organization. Rather, our goal is to inform the community about an issue that has been largely ignored until now.