Why should we worry about concussion
Concussion is more correctly termed minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI).
It is damage to brain cells from a sudden force wave through the soft tissue of the brain and appears to cause more problems when there is a rotatory force involved.
After damage, there is fluid leakage from the damaged brain cells leading to small amounts of adjacent swelling and inflammation.
Symptoms are many and vary depending on where damage has occurred.
Most concussions (85-90%) are comparatively minor and normally settle within a week or two.
Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) is where an individual returns to play despite not being recovered from a previous concussion. If another head injury, even a minor one, is then sustained, it may result in massive brain swelling and severe neurological complications.
All concussions should be taken seriously, SIS is the more concerning issue, prompting the mantra of “If in doubt, sit them out.”
“Hedkayse is a game changer. Their new material spreads impact loads across a larger surface area, protecting and cushioning the skull and reducing serious complications.” - Dr. Marshall Garrett
Existing scrum caps offer minimal protection from skull fractures or concussion
Hedkayse is, in my opinion, a game changer. Their new material spreads impact loads across a larger surface area, protecting the skull and reducing serious complications including brain bleeds. Force spread will also tend to minimise the peak shockwave and whilst this may not prevent a concussion, it will tend to minimise severity.
No one can argue against player well-being and long-term brain health, surely this should now be a default choice for protective headguards in sports. Personally, as a medicolegal expert of some 30 years and with a passion for rugby, I feel in the interests of long-term brain health, protective headguards of this nature should be mandatory for school age participants in contact sports.
It is too late for senior club and international players to lessen their lifetime “head injury debt.” Some will develop CTE and some won’t. We can, however, work to protect our future stars of the game.
Whilst Hedkayse will not prevent all head injuries or stop all concussions occurring, it is a huge step forward in mitigation of risk for those participating in contact sports and is to be applauded.
“I feel in the interests of long-term brain health, protective headguards of this nature should be mandatory for school age participants in contact sports.”
Dr. Marshall Garrett MbChB, L/RAMC, MEWI, MIDF Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow School of Medicine.